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12.02.2010 14:29

Iniesta: “The absences are no excuse”

Vanessa Forns

Despite the lack of defenders for the game at the Vicente Calderón, Iniesta considers that “there are no excuses in that respect” and has every faith in the reserve players.

He does admit that the missing defenders “have created a difficult situation, but these things happen”, but added that their only option for the game at Atlético Madrid is “to press on with what we’ve got”. He added “we can’t make excuses in that respect. We have to take the absences as they are. We simply have one added difficulty to overcome. We’ll take the challenge.”

Talented youngsters

He was asked about the youth players currently training with the first team, Bartra, Dalmau, Muniesa and Dos Santos, and categorically stated that “if they are here it’s because they have talent and are ready to play”. If Josep Guardiola opts to field any of them, Iniesta says the role of the more regular players will be “to help them and make them feel comfortable”.

“The most important thing is wanting to play”

2010-02-12_ENTRENO_47.JPGIniesta came though the youth system himself, so he knows what it is all about. “They are all playing for Barça Atlètic and are dying to play. When I was in their position, I couldn’t wait to play. What we are doing in training is trying to make them feel conformable and at home. Luckily, we have a lot of players that were in the reserves here and who have been though the same situation, so we can give them our help.”

Best advice

He said that once they are out on the pitch “they have to feel relaxed, although it’s difficult, because whether you like it or not, it’s a very special moment. You feel that if you are playing then it must be because you are good enough. And enthusiasm wins over the nerves that can make you play badly.”

Clear roles

Whoever forms the FCB defence, Iniesta said “the system will be the same, it doesn’t matter who plays … the most important thing for the team is for everybody to have clear ideas. All of the full backs know what they have to do, and if one is missing, then another one will do it instead.”

Three important points

2009-11-29_PARTIDO_44.JPGGames between FC Barcelona and Atlético Madrid tend to be thrillers with plenty of goals. But all Iniesta wants to feel sure of is that “we’ll be coming back with three points that will be a big step forward for us. Winning somewhere like the Calderón is always good for your confidence … Nobody can predict what will happen. We just want to get the three points, so we’ll be taking things very seriously.”

Key points

The Spanish international expects a tough game and “if anybody loses control, then we must make sure it’s not us. They play well on the counter, they have fast players, and they move quickly. But whatever the score is, we know we can’t relax. We have to stay solid throughout the match, play our game, take our chances and be tight at the back.”
Iniesta: “The absences are no excuse”

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Playing for the team
Andrés Iniesta simply wants to keep doing what he has been doing until now. “My main objective is to keep my game up. Not scoring, I just think about helping the team. If I do score, then all’s well and good. But there is lot ahead of us, and it is essential for us to maintain our form. I am very happy with the way I’m playing and I always give it 100 per cent when I go out onto the pitch”.

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