The FC Barcelona manager talked about what his men need to overcome the “extreme situation” in La Liga that the team finds itself in. According to Guardiola, the game at the Reyno de Navarra “is one of the hardest tests we have left this season”.
The trip to Navarra comes on the heels of Barça’s Copa del Rey final berth. Guardiola said that securing a place in the final is a reflection of the effort put in by the team since the beginning of the season: “when you get to a final it always reinforces you. We started with six titles; we won three, in the other [competition] we’re in the final and we have two more competitions to close out the season. We have to keep doing our work to maintain people’s faith in us.”
Guardiola is clear: “it’s one of the hardest tests we have left this season ... we went there a month ago to play in the Cup, and it wasn’t easy. In fact, it’s always been difficult for us in that stadium.” The manager said that he won’t be thinking about the Champions League match against Bayer Leverkusen when he names his starting XI in Pamplona. He also said that his team is ready to compete after a grueling January schedule: “January was a tough month, we played against great teams without much rest. Once we reached our goal [Cup final], the team trained well, what I say made me optimistic.”
On the other hand, Guardiola talked about Sergio Busquets’ absence in the squad ahead of tomorrow’s match: “he’s not ready. The wound on his knee and stitches need to heal correctly, if not, we run the risk of losing him for two or three weeks. He is getting better, we’ll see how his injury evolves and if we can bring him with us to Germany.” (via FCBarcelona.com)