The Barça Regal coach claimed he had ”a good feeling” ahead of the Final Four in London, adding, ” the team won’t be any less competitive because of our injuries”.
Pascual revealed that Nathan Jawai is almost certain to miss the semi-final and if he can make it, he’ll be badly hampered by his injury.
Xavi Pascual was upbeat ahead of the Final Four game against Real Madrid in London, insisting that the injuries that have hit his squad: “won’t make us any less competitive and we’ll play to the limit of our possibilities. I have a good feeling about it- we have players out, which means everyone else will have to give more. We’ll have to change our tactics a little in defence and attack”.
Going through the list of injuries, Pascual explained that Jawai is his main doubt, “the medical services are working round the clock to try and get him fit to play some part- it’s important, we’ve been working hard for the last seven or eight months to get to this point”. Wallace has yet to train with the squad and is virtually ruled out, whilst Pascual is “quite optimistic” that Ingles, Sada and Todorovic will be fit for the Madrid game.
Team full of confidence
The coach accepts his side aren’t going into this game as favourites, but insisted: “this team’s confidence is unlimited. We will be getting onto the plane to London with the same desire we’ve shown all year. The team has worked hard to get here”.
"We have to be true to our style of play – which means taking maximum advantage of our players’ abilities”.
Xavi Pascual reminded reporters that his team had been through injury crises before, most notably in last year’s Final Four or the quarter finals against Panathinaikos two years ago: “we are learning how to deal with this. We’ll miss the presence of some players, but we are learning to re-invent ourselves every day and find different ways to win”.
Risk and courage
Pascual doesn’t want to compare this weekend’s game with the Cup win over Madrid, claiming: “we’ll do different things to cover the absences we have. This has always been a courageous team prepared to take risks and I am sure we will show those values again and the fans will be proud of our efforts”.