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No such thing as an easy semi final

Pep Guardiola expects the game with Almeria to be tough. The manager knows how important this week is and just how special the Cup is.

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25 January 2011 06:29 PM

by

Jordi Clos

Barcelona (FCB).- Barça are one step away from another cup final and on Tuesday at midday, in his pre-match press conference Guardiola spoke about how \u201Cit is an important week. We have the chance to play in another final and then we travel to Hercules, who are very strong at home.\u201D Speaking in more depth about the Almeria clash, he said \u201CI have never seen such a thing as an easy semi final. They are always tough, they are a big issue\u201D.


League match irrelevant

The famous rout of the Andalusians at the Juegos del Mediterráneo in the League is not something Guardiola feels will have a bearing on this rematch. \u201CSome time has passed since the 8-0 game. They have a new manager and you have to look at what they have done since Oltra has been in charge \u2026 I\u2019d settle for a lot less than that result \u2026 just because one game went one way does not mean that the next will be the same \u2026 They drew with Madrid, and they won their last two cup matches\u201D.

He added that \u201Cthe way Crusat and Piatti use spaces \u2026 and the goalscoring form of Ulloa\u201D are reasons why Almeria have been doing so well in this tournament. \u201CThey have won six out of six in the cup, and scored ten goals away from home. And this is the most important cup tie in their history\u201D.

Special competition

Once again, the players will be looking for support from their amazing fans. \u201CThe more fans come the better, just to see them filling the stands is a motivation to us. There are enough motives. It is very hard to win the cup and we are one step away from another final \u2026 there are no easy competitions \u2026 the cup is special, the teams have nothing to lose and go for it. It has been very interesting until now\u201D.

Waiting on Puyol and Alves

The manager was also asked to explain the current situation regarding two key players that are struggling with injuries. On Puyol, he said \u201Cwe\u2019ll see how things develop. He is going to be out for a few days. There are no targets, it depends on how things develop\u201D. As for Alves, Guardiola said \u201Che is much better, he almost did all of the training today, but Almeria might be a little bit too soon. We have to take things calmly\u201D.


BARÇA BITE

\u201CXavi will be a manager\u201D


Speaking about Xavi Hernández, Pep Guardiola said he is convinced where his future ultimately lies. \u201CXavi is a definite coach. I have no doubt. He would get bored at home and he has such a lot of knowledge to impart. It would be a good thing if he could stay on at this club\u201D.

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  • Barça's coach, Pep Guardiola, today (by FC Barcelona)

  • Barça's coach, Pep Guardiola, today (by FC Barcelona)