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25.09.2009 14:00

Guardiola: Title is not a two-horse race

Jordi Clos

Pep Guardiola believes that talk of the title race only being between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid after just four matches is a lack of respect to all the other teams in la Primera.

With the Blaugrana preparing for their fifth match of the season, away at Málaga on Saturday, the coach wanted to ensure that he did not believe that the championship would be a tussle between only two sides. “It a lack of respect, after four games, to think that it will only be between Barça and Madrid. I do not believe that. If we have won all our games up until now then it is because we are both in form,” he told a press conference.

No favours

2009-09-25_ENTRENO_36.JPG“If we have won matches it is because we have been better than our opponents,” Guardiola continued. “Nobody has let us win. Every team works far more hours than the pundits that are saying these things. I want to see me team give everything in each game and we need players that are feeling fresh and want to win. We never leave anything until the next match. This is how we did things last season and how we shall do things this term.”

Málaga challenge

2009-09-25_ENTRENO_20.JPGLooking ahead to the game against Málaga, Guardiola thinks there could be similarities to midweek. “They play a bit like Racing, where they signed their coach from,” he stated. “Málaga are a physical team that mark tightly and have a clear plan because they have played together as a team for many seasons. They are also direct and have a great player taking free-kicks and corners [in Duda]. We will have to continue doing what we have been doing, but do certain things to suit playing Málaga.”

Squad players

Guardiola named a 19-man party for the trip to Andalucia and included Zlatan Ibrahimovic. “He trained well and has improved in every aspect,” the trainer continued. “We will see tomorrow how he is.” On Lionel Messi he added that “he deserves to win the Ballon d’Or” before being asked about Seydou Keita’s form: “I am very pleased that things are going so well for him.”
Guardiola: Title is not a two-horse race

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Focussed on the job
Pep Guardiola was asked about the stories involving the security of the club's vice-presidents that broke on Thursday. "We are not strangers to events that happen at Barça, but it does not affect us in any way," he said. "If we win then we deserve to and if we lose then we also deserve that. If things do not go well it will not be because of that.

"It will not affect us, I can assure you. The players are focussed on their roles, which is to play." Guardiola had not read all the details published in 'El Periódico' but added that "the press conference of the director general was very clear". He then commented: "The club has given us the chance to train in the best possible way and have given me everything. I know that they will let me continue to work calmly."

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