In an interview with Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.cat, Cesc describes his delight in being a Barça player and says that the team wants to reach the next international break with the biggest possible lead over Real Madrid.
Cesc Fàbregas has spoken to Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.cat about his form and that of the team, about what Tito Vilanova is asking of him and how it feels to work under a new manager. The midfielder, who’s in his second season back at the Camp Nou, also spoke about this Saturday’s match against Getafe and the lead the team currently enjoys over Real Madrid in the league. About all, he emphasised, “I’m very happy to be playing for Barça”.
The first match after an international break is always difficult for Barça. Why’s that?
You’ve been away for ten days and sometimes there are lengthy trips and you have to fit in once again with the training sessions, with being at home. I think it’s a bit better now because we play on Fridays and Tuesdays and you’ve got an extra day to acclimatise. That’s good for us because sometimes you get back a little tired and it’s difficult to perform at a high level again in league matches. I believe we’re Ok and also we won, which is always mentally positive”.
On Saturday you’re away to Getafe, a place that traditionally doesn’t suit Barça. Will it be tricky?
“Yes, it’s a difficult place to go. They close down well with a ten man defence and then counterattack. They play their own game. Now they’ve got some good players, they’ve made some good signings. It’s a small stadium with lots of pressure from the fans. It’ll be difficult but we’re confident we can keep this run going”.
You’ve taken nine points from nine in the league but Tito has said that some things have to be improved. How far do you think you have to go to be at 100%?
“Not far, I think. We had a good pre-season and we’ve already played five competitive matches. We’ve gradually got into shape and the truth is that the team is looking good. We have two days to prepare the match together and next week the Champions League starts. That helps you get going. Shortly, we’ll be at 100%”.
Although it’s not significant at the beginning, does the five-point lead over Real Madrid make it easier to work in peace?
“Yes but sometimes that peace is not such a good thing. We have to be natural, be ourselves, but I believe that’s how we’ve always been, whether in the lead or trailing behind. We’ve always been a squad of players who’ve been very focussed on what we have to do in the good times and the bad. I believe that’s the way we have to continue, with a positive mentality that gives the fans confidence. We have to work at 100%, as we have up to now”.
The next international break comes after the Real Madrid match on 7th October. Are you planning to keep that five-point lead until then?
That’s the objective, of course. I think we’re going to get together with the manager and the coaches and define our objectives. Barça always wants to win everything and in these league and Champions League matches we’ll try and win as many matches as possible and reach the break with a big lead over Real Madrid”.
You’ve been working with Tito for two and a half months. Have the players digested Guardiola’s departure yet or is it too soon?
“I think so. The team is very professional and it’s helped that everything’s the same, it’s all completely the same, training, the fitness programme, the coaches haven’t changed much and neither have we. The only thing that’s changed is the face. Now it’s Tito who talks to us and he’s doing really well. He’s got his own ideas and the truth is that we’re very happy”.
Do we have to demand the same from Tito as from Pep, who won 14 trophies from a possible 19?
“I think people always demand the best from a Barça manager. In this case it’s Tito’s first season and he has to do things in the way he thinks best. The players have to give 100% to try and help him do the things he wants and demands of us and put them into practice on the pitch the best way we can. And that translates into positive results”.
And what do we have to demand from Cesc?
“The same as the others and at the same time the most. I think I’ve adapted well to the squad and to the Club in general and the truth is that I’m very happy and working very hard. Last season was very positive for me and I’m trying to get better and better every day to play as I know how so that everyone’s happy with me”.
Do you think you’re a victim of the 15 goals you scored in the first half of last season? “Well, it’s a bit of everything. I’m not a 30-goal player and I’m certainly not in the running for top scorer. I’m a midfielder, like any other, but it’s true that I’ve scored quite a lot of goals in recent seasons and when I play in upfront I get in goal-scoring positions. But when I play further back I do the same work as anybody else. I try to keep my position, get the team moving and if I get the chance to score, that as well. But that’s not what the boss asks of me. I have to do what the boss tells me and that isn’t to score two goals every match. I try to do my job and I’m relaxed and very happy to be here. I just want to keep on playing for Barça and work at the maximum level”.
Do you think people appreciate you?
“Definitely! I’ve always said that, in the street, in the stadium...I feel appreciated as much as anyone and I’m not worried about that at all”.