Guardiola: “Racing plays like Betis”
Josep Guardiola has warned that Racing are capable of causing Barça problems if his team fail to play with maximum concentration. The boss also commented on Alves’ and Pinto’s situation.
Barcelona (FCB).- \u201CIf we don\u2019t control the ball, we will have problems against Racing\u201D. Guardiola warned during Friday\u2019s press conference ahead of Saturday\u2019s opener to the second half of the season: \u201CRacing play like Betis or Malaga, with a good defensive set up and with players who use the flanks and try to play good football. I know the team and the players and I\u2019ve seen that especially in their last few games\u201D.
The boss has drawn his conclusions from the Betis defeat, revealing: \u201CI saw what we did well and what we didn\u2019t. I\u2019ve still not spoken to the players about it, maybe I will on Saturday or next week. Sometimes it can be good to lose a game which doesn\u2019t involve dropping points or getting knocked out. The lessons to be drawn from the defeat will be discussed with the players sooner or later\u201D.
Alves contract talks
Commenting on Dani Alves\u2019 contract talks, Pep expressed his belief that: \u201CAlves will be a Barça player for the next few years. As far as I know, negotiations haven\u2019t broken down. I don\u2019t think the situation will distract him either, though if that does happen we will all help him, but his form hasn\u2019t dipped at all since he began talking with the club about this\u201D.
Bojan and Pinto
Guardiola praised Bojan for his attitude in the Betis game, claiming: \u201CI am more than happy with the game he put in and he knows it. He made four or five excellent moves, which his teammates weren\u2019t able to pick out. There is always a tendency to look for a scapegoat when a team loses, but it\u2019s the whole team who are responsible for winning or losing\u201D.
As for Pinto, the boss reiterated his confidence in his keeper and announced: \u201Che\u2019ll be in goal for the Cup Final if we get there and he\u2019ll definitely start the two semi-final games, because he deserves it and he\u2019s a fantastic keeper. He\u2019s always performed at a high level and he did against Betis too\u201D.
Guardiola expressed his regret at the injury to Jeffren, which will keep him out for the next five weeks: \u201Cit\u2019s bad news. The poor guy was really upset about it yesterday, but he\u2019s better today. He\u2019s not played much, but he uses space better than anybody and defensively is as good as Pedro. He\u2019s an explosive player and he\u2019s always shown in training that he wants to win a place in the team. We\u2019ll look to have him back soon and hope he doesn\u2019t get injured again\u201D.