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01.12.2009 14:16

Guardiola: “We mustn't stop now”

Vanessa Forns

Josep Guardiola reckons the game against Jerez on Wednesday will be a”really good test” for his team's aspirations in the league this season: “we mustn't stop now”, he insisted.

With Barca off in Abu Dhabi for the FIFA World Club Cup later this month, their league game against Jerez has been brought forward to Wednesday and after the recent good results, Guardiola has demanded that his players: “don't let the tension drop”.

“We'll see if we really want to be Champions”

2009-12-01_ENTRENAMIENTO_021.jpgThe boss believes that the Jerez game will give a good clue as to his players' hunger for another league title: “if we want to be champions, it shouldn't be a problem to motivate ourselves. Last season we found it hard to play against teams in the bottom half of the table. Tomorrow we are the only teams playing and it's our chance to open up a gap at the top. Tomorrow we'll see if we really want to be Champions”.

Keep up the tension

Guardiola explained: “we mustn't stop now. There was a lot of tension before the Madrid game and it tonk a lot out of us mentally and physically. We have to make sure we don't let the tension drop. There were a lot of doubts before the Inter game and now everybody's confident. The players have always responded since I came here. Jerez have an interesting defensive organisation and I've been told the pitch may not be in very good condition”.

The importance of the team

Leo Messi's Ballon d'Or award was also brought up in the press conference held at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. After publicly congratulating the Argentinean, as well as Xavi Iniesta, Ibrahimovic and Eto’o-, Guardiola insisted on congratulating the rest of his players too: “well done to them all, I hope they enjoy it and well done to the rest of the players too. Without them all, the others would never have won their awards. Nobody wins this award unless their team win too”.

Messi's attitude

2009-12-01_RP_GUARDIOLA_001.jpgAs for Messi, Guardiola claimed that what marks him out : “is in his head, it's his competitive attitude. When he's happy, everything he does works. He's got everything a player needs – resistance, speed, he scores goals, he's a good header, he reads the game well.... he's good at everything. This award is a prize for him and for the team. He really deserves it, he's on another level. He's been given the highest recognition possible for a young player”.

Milito and Piqué miss out

The team travel to Jerez on Wednesday without the suspended Busquets, as well as Milito and Pique. Guardiola explained that Pique had “picked up a knock” and that he was looking forward to being able to include Milito” because he was sure the squad needed him.

Touré and Bojan

Guardiola also took the opportunity to assure Touré that he was : “an important player – it would be difficult to achieve things without him”. The boss was also quizzed about his decision not to play Bojan against Madrid and he replied: “I can understand him feeling angry or annoyed at not playing more. No manager in the world can control that”.
Guardiola: “We mustn't stop now”

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Recognition for Xavi and Iniesta
Xavi and Iniesta were both rewarded in the Ballon d'Or awards and Guardiola told the:m “you're important for Messi and vica versa. I feel very proud of all of them – they really deserve it. Xavi and Iniesta are highly valued by everybody and are at a really high level. They have been recognised for what they achieved here and with Spain”.

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