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01.01.2010 21:53

Guardiola: “We have to work harder”

Anna Segura

FC Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola began the New Year by expressing the confidence that he has in his squad and explained that the object for the next 12 months was to work harder and improve.

The first press conference of 2010 at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper saw the Blaugrana boss tell the media what he is looking forward to after he had held training.

Aims for 2010

2010-01-01_ENTRENO_04.JPGTo repeat 2009 is an incredible challenge and Guardiola is well aware of what is required if his team is to try and emulate the same success. "We cannot work in the same way, we have to improve," he said. "The only aim we can think about having is not to do things the same, but to do things better."

Light grey

After winning the Club World Cup Guardiola told reporters that he saw the future as black, but at the start of the New Year he has changed that to "light grey". He continued: "After winning what we have I have seen what everyone has been saying and know that we have to remain humble. But it has made me very proud and hopeful when looking ahead to the future."

Iniesta quandary

2010-01-01_ENTRENO_31.JPGWhether Andrés Iniesta starts in the game against Villarreal after recovering from injury was still something that the coach was considering: "We will decide on the day of the game. I have not yet decided," Guardiola explained.

No transfers have been ruled out in the winter transfer window even though he is pleased with his current crop of players. "Txiki has done a great job," he added.

Lionel Messi will not be available this weekend for the first game of the New Year and he has been allowed to return to South America and stay behind with the club's permission. "The fixture list is very busy and I understand that some players have come back early to try and find their rhythm, such as Milito or Márquez," he said.

Contract talks

2010-01-01_ENTRENO_20.JPGOn his contract renewal Guardiola then explained: "Now I am not thinking about that. The club and will sit down calmly and we will talk and decide. I am coach of Barça until the end of the season and I will stay. There is no better place to work and it is what I dreamed of."

Barça's presidential elections will also take place this year: "They will have no effect on us," he said of the squad. "It will not effect the coaches either. If things do not go well it will not be because of the election."
Images: Miguel Ruiz (FCB)
Images: Miguel Ruiz (FCB)

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New challenges
Barça return to action on Saturday and Pep Guardiola would like the fans to go to Camp Nou and celebrate the six cup wins. "I hope that it will be a full house," he explained. "We have done something historic and we would to share it with their fans."

The coach would also like his players to put all their success from 2009 behind them: "A chapter has been closed," he said. "Now there is nothing more that we can win until the end of the season. We begin in a good position and we shall see what we can do."

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