Tito Vilanova respects Mourinho’s opinion that FC Barcelona haven’t been the dominant team over the past four years because it didn’t win two consecutive Champions League titles. But the Catalan manager stated that “this team has done spectacular things. I don’t know if we’ve established hegemony over the rest, but we certainly won a lot of titles. But we won’t be remembered just for the titles we won, but for how we did it. This Barça will be remembered.”
Tito Vilanova will lead his men on Thursday for the first time in a Clásico. Even though he’s well acquainted with these colossal Barça - Madrid matches, the manager showed himself to be calm and easy going in the pre-match press conference. “I want to enjoy this profession. The match is important but it’s not healthy to allow myself to think that if we don’t win the world will come to an end. There are things that are more important than tomorrow’s game.”
With that said, Vilanova is rigorously preparing his men ahead of the away leg of the Spanish Super Cup at the Camp Nou. The Catalan believes that neither Barça nor Madrid are playing to their full potential, yet. “Neither team is coming into the match on better form than the other.” He added, “the players’ performances will improve as the season goes on.”
Wary of Madrid’s counterattack
Vilanova went on to highlight the strong points of Mourinho’s Madrid. “Their counterattack is very strong and we’ll have to attentive.” The manager warned that “we’re playing at home and the whole world knows how we play when we play at the Camp Nou.” Vilanova doesn’t foresee a repeat of last season’s La Liga Clásico at the Camp Nou when the Azulgranas lost 1 to 2. “We had to take a lot of risks in that game. We had to send a lot of men forward and Madrid are very good on the counter.”
The manager went on to wish Pepe a speedy recovery. The Real Madrid defender collided with Iker Casillas in this weekend's Real Madrid - Valencia match and had to spend the night at hospital.
“Song will make a quick transition”
Vilanova will be able to call on FC Barcelona’s newest signing for tomorrow’s match against Real Madrid. The manager noted that he’s not worried about Alex Song’s transition into the team, but the Cameroon international may not get to make his debut seeing that most the first team players are healthy and match fit. “His transition will be a quick one," said Vilanova.
On Carles Puyol, who played against Real Sociedad, the manager said that “he’s in perfect condition to play.”