Barça are back in league action this Saturday after the international break with the objective of building on their great start to the campaign that sees them at the top of La Liga and their Champions League group. Speaking at a press conference this Friday, boss Tito Vilanova expressed his satisfaction with the team’s progress, whilst insisting: “I still think we have to improve, but I’m happy with our results and how we are playing”. Vilanova also reckons there’s not much difference between this year’s team and that of recent seasons: “I can’t see many differences – that is what we aiming for anyway”.
No easy games at Riazor
Vilanova knows it won’t be an easy ride at Riazor: “there are no easy games and certainly not away to Deportivo- especially with the players coming off the international break. Riazor has never been an easy ground”. Deportivo are currently in the bottom three, but Villanova insisted: “we’ve only played a few games and with two or three wins under their belts they’ll be out of difficulties”.
Rotations will have to wait
Asked to compare the situation with the last time the internationals came back from a break – when he was able to rest players for the game against Getafe, Villanova explained: “It’s important to get players back - if that happens we can start to make rotations in the team. Every situation is different – you have to bear in mind how the players feel when they come back. This time they’ve had a better trip back and we’ve been able to train. We’ll see how they feel when they get up on Saturday and if there are any vestiges of jet lag”.
“We don’t make videos of other players”
There has been plenty of coverage over a supposed video the Club has made of Real Madrid’s Pepe, but Villanova denied any such video had been produced: “there are no videos of any players at all. We record all of our games so we can get an overall view, but we don’t make videos of other players- we’ve never concentrate on one player. We would have been better talking about the game(against Real Madrid) after the match, rather than concentrating on a single incident”.
Bartra, Piqué, Villa and Fontás
Vilanova also spoke of the chances that Marc Bartra had of starting a game: “I’ll put him on when I think that I have to, but he will get some playing time. It doesn’t help him to put pressure on him”. As to Piqué, Villanova revealed: “he’s still not 100% and we’ll not be taking any risks with him”, whilst David Villa: “knows that he’s just come back from a long layoff and that he will gradually come back into the team and start to figure”. Finally, the boss made it clear that although Andreu Fontàs has been loaned out to Mallorca: “if he does well there, he has a chance of coming back”.
"There are no easy games and certainly not away to Deportivo- especially with the players coming off the international break"
"We’ve only played a few games and with two or three wins under their belts they’ll be out of difficulties”