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Guardiola: "We’ve taken a good step forward"

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28.09.2011 23:57

Guardiola: "We’ve taken a good step forward"

Vanessa Forns

The Manager, very pleased with the 5-0 win against BATE Borissov, emphasised that the team has taken a "good step" on their way in the Champions League, and with this win, Barça tops the group.

Next training session on Friday
The squad will spend the night in Minsk and won’t undertake the journey back to Barcelona until Thursday. It will be Friday when the team returns to training. The session is scheduled to start at 11.00 at the Ciudad Deportiva Joan Gamper, when the team will start preparing for Sunday's game away to Sporting Gijon.

Guardiola admitted that, although Barça had been very good in the last three Champions League seasons, away from home "we haven’t been very reliable", something that made him think that the match that his team played on Wednesday in Minsk was, basically, "an unknown". Therefore Guardiola gave "much weight" to the win at the Dynamo Stadium, a win he described as "vital" and that is a "good step" with regard to the team’s objectives. "Now, qualification for the last 16 will be decided against the Czechs" he said.

"It's never easy attacking against 10"

To achieve victory, Barça had to deal with the solid defence of BATE Borissov: "The truth is that they defended really deeply, and I didn’t expect that. Sometimes if you don’t score early on it makes you lose a little patience. But we were able to cope really well, and this gave us the time and space to develop our game". He added:"It’s never easy attacking against 10 defenders. All these teams are pretty similar. They set out to defend and hope you lose a little patience. It was very important to control the midfield players, and Kezman, and our players have done that very well".
Talking about his footballers Guardiola expressed aloud his desire that "they don’t lose the competitive spirit they have shown this Wednesday, and that has characterised this team for so long….. this spirit I’ve been seeing for years. It’s imbedded. I’m very clear that they feel it. It doesn’t matter if we win or lose, but we always have to keep doing the same things".

"Nothing is easy"

Despite the emphatic 5-0 scoreline, Guardiola, who dedicated the win to the family of Chus Pereda, didn’t feel that the match had been so straightforward: "We had to work very hard. Things have a lot of value when you achieve them, and if we won 5-0 it’s because we had to do things better than BATE Borissov. But nothing is easy".

On the other hand, Guardiola was very happy for Messi, who equalled the 194 official goals of another FC Barcelona idol, Ladislao Kubala: "He’s equalled another Barça legend, who, by the way he played and was, changed this club. With Kubala’s football the Les Corts stadium became too small. The only way Messi won’t catch Cesar is if he leaves here, but we hope he continues for many years. If at 24 years old he’s done what he’s done, I can only congratulate him".

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