11 January 2012

Guardiola: "We must think that we still have work to do"

Despite the 4-0 advantage from the first leg, the manager is cautious, reminding everybody that there are still 90 minutes to play, that this season no one has won at Osasuna, and that in the Cup anything can happen.

Guardiola guaranteed that the team will go out to win the game and play well, "controlling the pitch and the result," because "this is our way of understanding the game and we don’t know any another way".

Josep Guardiola didn't want to talk about the quarter-finals of the Cup until Thursday's match away to Osasuna is out of the way. The manager remembers the problems suffered by the team last season in the same round of the competition against Betis, despite the 5-0 win in the first leg, and opted for a more cautious approach. "Last season Betis did what they did. The Cup is very special. There are 90 minutes left and Osasuna have their virtues, which we already know about. It's our duty to think that we still have work to do," he said.

In this sense, he's very aware that this year no team has managed to win at Osasuna. "All grounds are complicated, and this one especially, for its size and the way they play. We know it will be cold, and we'll see how the pitch is. We'll try and play well to reach the quarters," he said.

When asked if the advantage of four goals achieved in the first leg would somehow affect their approach to the game, Guardiola replied that Barça will head to Osasuna to win: "4-0 is a good lead, but we can't rely on that. We'll try to win the game. I don't know any other way. We'll try and play well and control the pitch, and the result. We'll go out to play the best we can, which is the only way I know."

It's a fact that the team is having trouble winning away from the Camp Nou: "Away from home we don't have the stats to be champions, and we must be more ambitious. The solvency that we have at home is harder to achieve away. We're ready to fight for the remaining 63 points. In all the games we've played well, and apart from the first hour in Valencia, and for some time in Cornella, we were better than our opponents. The level needed to become League Champions is very high."

Guardiola explained his technical decision not to call up Andrés Iniesta for the match: "He was out for ten days after Hospitalet, due to the injury he suffered. Against Espanyol he ended the game with an ankle knock. I haven't called him up to protect him for the effort to come."

On the other hand, Guardiola announced that, in principle, he won't call on any of the reserves to fill the place left by Keita, who will be playing in the Africa Cup of Nations: "We'll carry on bringing in players from the reserves depending on how they are. This doesn't mean that, later on, we won't bring someone into the first team. Cuenca is a good example: he came in, we were persuaded, and he stayed." (via FCBarcelona.cat)