The Barça manager believes that it will be difficult to go undefeated in the second half of domestic competition but he admits that the 11-point advantage over Atlético Madrid "is an advantage that's unthinkable at the start of the season"
“We are not invincible. Everything we’ve achieved up until now is thanks to the effort we’ve put in and our eagerness to win. The day we don’t play at a high level is the day we lose," says Vilanova
Milan tie Sampdoria
Barça’s rival in the Champions League, AC Milan, drew with Sampdoria this weekend. Allegri’s men were unable to create chances in the first half, and in the second Sampdoria nearly nicked the three points.
Tito Vilanova’s Barça closed out the first half of the season with a record amount of points - 55 out of 57 possible points. The Blaugrana manager, who led his team from the bench at La Rosaleda, is pleased with the record. “We’re very pleased with how we’ve done in the first half of La Liga. It’s fantastic that we’ve won 10 games away from home.”
“We are not invincible”
The manager went on to praise his men for the winning mentality they have shown throughout this season. “The players are very good. We’re coming off of four successful years and it’s a good thing that they know the concepts of the system. Besides, the players are eager to continue winning.” He then added: “We are not invincible. Everything we’ve achieved up until now is thanks to the effort we’ve put in and our eagerness to win. The day we don’t play at a high level is the day we lose. Therefore, it’s about maintaining our form.”
Prudent on the second half of La Liga
“It will be difficult to repeat this feat in the second half of the season. It wouldn’t be normal.” When asked about the next and final 19 matches of this La Liga season, Vilanova was prudent. He knows that his men will have to visit complicated stadiums like the Vicente Calderón and the Santiago Bernabéu. With that said, he noted that the 11-point difference over Atlético Madrid “is an unthinkable advantage at the start of any year, but we have to keep on going. We cannot stop here.” He reminded the press room that “La Liga title hasn’t been won we still have the whole second half of the season.”
He also believes that today’s match won’t influence the upcoming Copa del Rey showdown with Málaga: “Each match is different.” He also talked about David Villa: “He’s not leaving. We know how important he is to the team.”
Finally, the manager thanked Málaga for their show of support before he noted that “I don’t want to be the focus of attention due to my illness, I’d rather be that because of my work.”