Guardiola: “We’ll be competing right up to the end" to win the Spanish League
The Barça manager stressed at the press conference before the Spanish League game against Betis that “there are 63 points left to play for and we’d like to believe that we still have a chance to win the League”.
Barcelona (FCB).- Barça Manager, Pep Guardiola, is not throwing in the towel in the fight for the Spanish League title despite the five-point lead enjoyed by Real Madrid: \u201CPeople should know that I am convinced that we\u2019ll be competing right up to the end. After that, whether we win or not I can\u2019t control\u201D. However, Guardiola has a lot of faith in his players\u2019 ambition: \u201CThere are 63 points left to play for \u2013 that\u2019s a lot of points and my sole objective is to get across to the players that we have to make these 63 points count. We\u2019ve got a chance so why shouldn\u2019t we go for it\u2019?\u201D
La Liga the priority
Right from the beginning of his tenure as FC Barcelona\u2019s First Team Manager, Guardiola has always asserted that the La Liga is the most important competition. On Saturday, he emphasised this once again: \u201CIt\u2019s our bread and butter, and it\u2019s what keeps you in good shape for the other competitions\u201D. That\u2019s why he sees this weekend\u2019s match against Betis as important preparation for the Spanish Cup duel against Real Madrid. But whatever happens in that Cup tie, Guardiola is determined not to be distracted from the Spanish League title: \u201CThere'll be no time to feel sorry for ourselves. If we don\u2019t react well we\u2018ll find ourselves out of the race for the League\u201D.
Guardiola expecting a good match
Although the Seville-based Betis was only promoted to the 1st Division at the end of last season, Guardiola knows Betis well, having taken them on in last season\u2019s Spanish Cup. \u201CThey\u2019ve got the same manager and some skilful players - they\u2019re good on the offensive\u201D. He also compared the Andalusian team\u2019s style of play with Barça\u2019s last opponent, Osasuna: \u201CThey\u2019ve got more combination play, different ways of moving the ball up field, they can unsettle you, they play for each other and the goalkeeper is very intuitive \u2013 and they\u2019ve won their last three\u201D.
Youth the best policy
Pressure on the Barça squad is increasing as Andreu Fontàs and Pedro join Villa and Afellay on the injury list while Keita is away at the Africa Cup of Nations and Maxwell has completed a move to French club PSG. However, Guardiola insists that he\u2019s not looking to bring in reinforcements from outside FC Barcelona: \u201CWe\u2019ll stick with these players to the end. It\u2019s not a good idea to look to the transfer market because new players have to settle in and it costs money. The reserves are the cheapest, most productive and sustainable solution\u201D.
Praise for Sergio Busquets
If he gets a run out against Betis, Sergio Busquets will reach a century of Spanish League appearances for FC Barcelona. Guardiola handed Busquets his first team debut in his first season as Barça manager. On Saturday he told the press: \u201CIf I was reincarnated as a player, I\u2019d like to be like him. He\u2019s the best defensive central midfielder in the world. Barça has a priceless player\u201D.