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19.02.2010 15:26

Guardiola: "The hour of truth has come"

Anna Segura

Pep Guardiola believes that FC Barcelona are entering the decisive stage of the season and that any error committed from now on will have even more importance as the race for trophies heats up.

The Blaugrana are looking to bounce back when Racing Santander visit on Saturday after tasting defeat for the first time in the league this term in Vicente Calderón and will be hoping that some of the injured players are able to return to action.

Decisive time

2010-02-19_ENTRENO_47.JPGWith both the league and Europe, as Barça meet VfB Stuttgart in midweek, back in focus Guardiola thinks that now is the time to focus. “We are in the decisive stage of the season in order to win trophies and now the errors cost even more,” he explained.

Be the best

While a repeat of last year’s incredible success was always going to virtually impossible to repeat, Guardiola believes that the team still have several exciting times ahead. “There are still some marvellous challenges to come,” he continued. “We want to see off the challenge of a strong rival to retain the title. Now is the hour of truth. We will need to be at our best to have a chance. If we stumble in any game maybe will not have as good a chance of winning trophies as we should have.”

Next challenge

2010-02-19_ENTRENO_40.JPGThe first challenge that Guardiola is concerned with though is that which Racing Santander will pose on Saturday when they visit Camp Nou. “They are team that looks to play high up the field and do not like you to have the ball and try everything to stop you from having it,” Guardiola continued.

100 not out

11_xabu_dhabix.JPGThe visit of Racing will be Guardiola’s 100th official game in charge since he stepped up from Barça Atlètic in the summer of 2008. Looking back Guardiola remembers fondly his first victory: “The first win against Gijon came when we were in a difficult situation. There was also the win against Wisla and the finals, of course. I also have great memories of Abu Dhabi.”

Guardiola admitted that he had three coaches during his playing career that were his biggest influences. “There were three that really left their mark and helped me and they were Johan, Charly and Lillo.”

Injury time

2010-02-14_PARTIDO_201.JPGOn the current injury problems Guardiola explained: “There are various reasons, but none of the them are specific. We have done everything we can to avoid it. We have a great medical team and great physiotherapists and we would not change any of them. Now we have told them all that nobody else can pick up an injury.”
Guardiola: “The hour of truth has come“

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Catalan of the Year
Josep Guardiola has been nominated for the prestigious Catalan of the Year award that is awarded by El Periódico de Catalunya and the TV3 programme Els Matins. “In sport the results are everything,” the coach said. “I have been nominated because it is Barça and we have won many trophies. There are much more deserving people than me that have done much better work that have not been nominated.”

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