Competition news


05 Dec 2009
Third confrontation between Lotina and Guardiola; Depor’s coach searches his first win in the series and admitted that Riki’s casualty is an important setback, while Barca’s manager was assuring his team will improve compared to midweek.

Josep Guardiola is an historic player of Barcelona FC that won six ligas, two Copas, four Supercopas, a UEFA Cup winners Cup, two UEFA Super Cups and two UEFA Champions Leagues, one as a player (during the season 1991/1992) and the other conquered as a coach. He’s just the sixth men in the history to achieve that (the others where Miguel Muñoz, Giovanni Trapattoni, Johan Cruyff, Carlo Ancelotti and Frank Rijkaard). And there’s more, because he also added the Copa Del Rey and la liga championship during the past campaign, meaning the mythic European treble.

The surprising thing is that he recently started his career as a coach (June of 2007), just when he was named as the coach of Barcelona B, squad that was at Tercera División and that was later promoted by Guardiola to Segunda B. He quickly ascended in the preferences of president Laporta and one year later, he was replacing Frank Rijkaard as the head coach of Barcelona’s first team. This is the third occasion in which he will face Miguel Ángel Lotina as a coach, the previous meetings were Barca’ 5-0 demolishing win at the Camp Nou and the other was the 1-1 draw on the last matchday of the past season.

Depor’s coach gave a press conference on Friday’s morning; he was admitting the hard hit that represents the casualty of striker Riki, “We were too short in attack with the casualty of Lassad, so evidently this is an important casualty for us. It’s some kind of a groin problem, we are waiting for the tests, but hope it will only take a week to heal.”

No matter the last-minute problem of the Madrilenian attacker, the Basque coach assured that he won’t change the strategy to face Barcelona, “The idea isn’t changing, another player will take the place of Riki and things won’t change too much. We will try to put another man that can make the same job. We will keep playing, sort or less,  with the same men.”

For Saturday’s morning a new training session has been scheduled, and it’s that Lotina hasn’t decided yet the lineup for the encounter, “The players won’t know who is playing until tomorrow (Saturday) at the hotel. It could be Adrián, Iván Pérez, Pablo Álvarez… later we will see what decision do we take.” He said.

The Meñaka-born coach was also saying that what matters in this game is to offer a good show to the fans attending to the Riazor, "Obviously if Iniesta, Messi and Ibrahimovic play, Barca will be stronger, but also our fans want to see them; it’s the best team in recent years and the fans want to enjoy a show. We also want to offer that, we are not talking about results; we want to have fun and to see the fans enjoying. The word that defines the environment at the dressing room is happiness, because the daily work is paying us, we're winning the games. What we want to avoid is the euphoria and the anxiety.”

About the rival, Lotina said that no specific mark will be put over Xavi, “We have trained normally, just like any other week. The key of Barca is not in one single player. The greatness is that so much talent is at the service of the team. They beat Inter easily without Messi and Ibrahimovic. It's their way of playing and the individual quality of all.. They don’t have weak points. They are well worked and have clear ideas, either in attack and in defence; the treble can’t be achieved just with talent.”

Barcelona’s coach gave a press conference on Friday, just before the trip to La Coruña. He was assuring that his team will improve the level saw in midweek and admitted the difficulty of the match at the Riazor, “We won’t repeat the game of Xérez. The best way to face the situation is to give the importance that the game deservers, a pretty match like the one we are going to play tomorrow. We are facing a rival that’s quite well, we’re playing in a pitch where Barca has only picked three victories within the last seventeen years; that stat says everything.”

“A victory will be important in that sense. It won’t be a deadly blow in liga, because a lot still to be played, neither a demonstration of authority because we will try to be up there until the end, but it will be important because it means to defeat a solid rival in a stadium historically difficult, a win against a solid team, it will mean a huge reinforcement to know we are doing the right things.”  He added.

The Cantabrian coach was asked about the situation of some specific players, like Mexican Rafa Marquez, who wasn’t picked for the trip, “He still missing a small point to be fit to play, just that. He is a vital player and I blindly trust in him, and he knows it, but is coming out from an injury, and for that reason he is struggling to find the pace, he is just missing a small point to get it. When he does it, then he will be a very important player, almost essential for us.”

Guardiola was also asked about the possible exit of Bojan during the winter window, “I haven’t thought about that. There’s always a moment in which I have to choose and, not only in his case but in the one of all the players that aren’t participating too much, there is always a point of injustice towards him, I perceive it like that. He probably deserves much more than what he receives. I understand his sadness."



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