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23.02.2010 23:59

“A good result, but we must improve”

Vanessa Forns

Well aware that the second leg is still to come in the Nou Camp, Josep Guardiola was relatively happy with the draw in Stuttgart on Tuesday, though he demanded “we have to improve if we want to win titles this season”.

Repeating his comments after Saturday’s win over Racing de Santander, Guardiola insisted his team needed to improve certain aspects of their play if they are to push on and reach the objectives they’ve set themselves for this season: “it’s a relatively good result, but we’ll have to improve if we want to win titles. I know we have to do things better and I know why we aren’t yet at the level we need to be to win this competition, but I’m confident we will get there”.

“The tie’s still wide open ”

Guardiola continued: “the team tried hard all game and things can work out well or not, but the players gave everything and there are other aspects that are important as well as the goal and the result. The tie is still wide open and anything could happen”.

“Europe is tough and demanding”

2010-02-20_PARTIDO_07.JPGThe boss reckoned that the game tonight was: “a typical last 16 first leg game in which people reckon we will walk it because we are the reigning champions, but in this competition all the teams are good. Europe is tough and demanding and all the teams are well prepared. It’s never easy to get to this stage and play against a team who people might not be familiar with and think that we will win easily. Now, we knew that wasn’t the case and in these games you have to look for the small details that are going to make the difference”.


Ibrahimovic gave the team the all important away goal and Guardiola commented: “he’s a very mobile player and he works very hard too. He really helps the team. I want him scoring goals – he needs that, you could see how animated he was after the goal and how he participated more. I’m very satisfied with his performance tonight”.

No risks taken with Xavi

Finally, Guardiola explained his decision to play Xavi: “if he’d not been fully fit, I wouldn’t have risked him. We did plenty of tests and he was okay and there was no danger of him aggravating the injury. I would have done the same with Dani, but he wasn’t ready yet”.
“A good result, but we must improve”

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Laporta happy with the result
Following the game, Club President Joan Laporta was pleased with the result: “the draw is a good result with the second leg coming up at the Nou Camp. There’s still another 90 minutes to play- We have to respect our rival though”. Sr Laporta also echoed Guardiola’s praise for Ibrahimovic: “he deserved the goal”, he commented.

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