Guardiola. “We don’t throw games away here”
Pep Guardiola is not treating Ceuta as a done deal despite winning the away leg, but instead intends to give the match all the attention it deserves.
Barcelona (FCB).- “I don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking we’ve already done the job” said the FC Barcelona manager ahead of Wednesday’s match. Barça may have won 2-0 away against a lower category team but Guardiola insists that “we don’t throw games away here” and that he and his players will be wanting to perform as well as they can.
It is crucial for Barça to play this game like any other and keep the right rhythm going. “We could think we have already done it, or we could think that we have got to do it. We have to play Copa del Rey matches seriously” said Guardiola, adding that although the game with Ceuta shouldn’t be too difficult, “it does involve a very high risk”.
No need for motivation
Asked whether he needs to specially motivate his players for games like the one with Ceuta compared with others, Guardiola was emphatic. “They love playing and love football. These boys love playing football and as it’s what they enjoy, they’ll go out there and make an effort”. Also, with the game kicking off at 22.00, he knows there aren’t likely to be too many fans in the stadium, but he promised “a goo game for those who do come”.
Sergi Roberto, man for the future
Among the five reserve players picked by Guardiola for the game with Ceuta is Sergi Roberto. The Barça has praised this player, about whom he said “his future perspectives are very good indeed. He’s a youngster Luis Enrique has a lot of confidence in, and that’s important in the reserves”.
Nolito told to fight
Guardiola also spoke about Nolito, one of the stars of the Barça B side who is knocking on the first team door. Some have suggested that the player might be leaving, but Guardiola has said “I’d recommend him to fight to stay here. There is always a time to leave this place but there are few places better for him right now. … he should keep playing well and fighting for a place here.” He reminded listeners that Barça is a club that likes to give its youth players a chance.
Guardiola wanted more reserves
Guardiola has named five reserves for the game with Ceuta. The cup rules only allow six reserve players in a squad, and just four on the pitch at any given time. The manager doesn’t agree with the rule, saying “games help young players develop.” Guardiola said that if he had it his way, he would have used more reserve players for this match.