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04.01.2010 13:52

“Sevilla is one of the big clubs”

Roger Bogunyà

Speaking at the last press conference before the first leg of the Cup tie, Guardiola admitted he would need to draw on every available player over the next weeks. Despite Sevilla’s poor recent form, he insisted, “Sevilla is one of the big clubs".

Guardiola was full of praise for Sevilla: “I believe they can compete with anybody. In the Champions League they had an impressive group stage. They’ve got one of the best squads in La Liga. They’re one of the big clubs, not just now but for many years”. He also insisted that the tie would not be won or lost in the first leg.

The way to play Barça?

2009-11-18_ENTRENO_100_26.jpgAt the weekend Villarreal ( 1-1 ) set out a game plan to press Barça high up field, and took away a good result. They left an impression as one of the best teams to visit the Camp Nou this season but Guardiola does not believe that their tactics are necessarily the most effective way to stop his Barça side: “Since I’ve been the manager we’ve been played against in every way possible. Sometimes we’ve found the answer and sometime we haven’t done so well. But I don’t get the impression that pressing us high up field leaves us without answers”.

Worried about the wingers

2010-01-02_PARTIDO_21.JPGHowever, Guardiola has a healthy respect for the opponents: “A lot about Sevilla worries me. They’re a very direct team, they look for space and have two or three fantastic wingers”, (Navas, Perotti and Capel).

As for his own squad: “They‘re perfect, mentally and physically. We’re ready to play each match and play well”. Guardiola has lost Jeffren (injury), Keita and Touré (African Cup of Nations) but has incorporated four players from Barça Atlètic, mainly to shore up the midfield: “They’ll all play over the next few matches”.

“Referees don’t exist”

Guardiola also answered questions about referees and reminded reporters that FC Barcelona makes fewer complaints than most clubs: “We’re a club that hasn’t complained much. When a team has 60% possession over 17 months, the opponents commit more fouls than we do, unless we kick each other”. He closed the discussion with the words: “Referees don’t exist”.
“Sevilla is one of the big clubs”

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Winter transfer window
When asked about any activity by the Club in the winter transfer window, Guardiola assured reporters: "As far as I know we haven’t thought about anything”. He went on to add: “I’m well served in midfield. I’ve got five midfielders plus those from Barça Atlètic, who will get their chance”. He doesn’t believe it would be useful to sign a player just for a month to cover the time Touré Yaya and Seydou Keita will be away for the African Cup of Nations.

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