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21.11.2009 23:59

Guardiola concerned about Messi

Vanessa Forns

Josep Guardiola's first thoughts after FC Barcelona's draw with Athletic Club de Bilbao on Saturday evening were about Lionel Messi's injury, but he was not willing to make any predictions about the length of time that the forward could be out for.

During the 1-1 draw in San Mamés the Argentinian limped out of the action and will now undergo tests on what the coach confirmed was a blow to his left thigh. The examinations on Sunday would revealed the extent of any problem and then the trainer would reflect on how to deal with it.

Staying positive

"The early indications are not too good, to be honest," Guardiola told the media after the match. "Of course he is upset because nobody likes to be injured." Looking ahead to the coming week as Inter and then Real Madrid visit Camp Nou, the Barça boss was philosophical as Messi joined the growing injury list while three players have contracted flu. "What can we do? Just stop? The fans have to understand that we will play with the players that are fit."

Full house

2009-11-21_PARTIDO_18.JPGCalling on the supporters, Guardiola hopes that Camp Nou will be at its best for both the matches. "We want a stadium full to the brim," he continued. "I hope that there is not one empty seat and that everyone is there. We will try to take a step closer to the next phase."

"We forgot how to play after the goal"

On the performance against Athletic Club Guardiola felt that despite a good start his players did not maintain their level. "We forgot how to play after we scored the goal," he said. "San Mamés can do that to you, but Athletic deserve a lot of credit. We wanted to calm the game down too soon and they caught us out with their goal. But the result was fair."

Recovering players

FC Barcelona relinquished the leadership of the league to Real Madrid, but he does not think that the team's position will have any bearing on el Clasico next weekend. "Of course, it is better to play as leader, but it does not bother me for one second. What bothers me is recovering all my players. We have to have everyone available."
Guardiola concerned about Messi

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Laporta: "We must think about Inter"
After the draw against Athletic Club president Joan Laporta was pleased that the club maintained their unbeaten run. "We could have won, but we have added another point and have not lost a league game yet this season," he stated.

Looking ahead to the Blaugrana's next encounter, against Inter, Laporta felt that all the focus should now be on the Champions League. "We have to think about Inter," he said. "It is a very important game because we want to do well in that competition."

On Lionel Messi's injury the Barça supremo added: "We will see the extent of the problem, but I hope that it will be minor," he added.

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