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Following a seven-day stretch in which FC Barcelona won a La Liga derby and a Champions League opener, and heading into another week with a midweek match, manager Ernesto Valverde came right out and said what many had already surmised—that he would probably use Saturday’s road match at Getafe as a chance to shuffle the lineup in a bid to give some of his players a day off and others a chance to rack up some early season minutes.
Here are the highlights of what Valverde had to say.
On 20-year-old French striker Ousmane Dembélé:
“He is continually improving. He needs some time to adapt to the team and his teammates.”
On facing Getafe to open another tough week:
"This we week we have 9 points in play, Getafe is dangerous on set plays and it'll be tough."
On the team's goal for the immediate future:
We have to try and extend the form that we are in at the moment. For the next few days, at least.
On resting players who are in good form:
Whether or not players are playing well it doesn't make a difference, if there has to be a change there will be one.
On whether it will be his decision only on giving rest to Messi and Suárez:
We'll see, I don't know what to say. That's the reason why the coach is there.
On if there a difference between the way the team is playing this year compared to last year:
I think the style the team is really similar. I think it's too early to be talking about changes in the style. We've only been working together for a month. I don't think there's enough there to really make any kind of evaluation yet.
On whether the fact that Dembélé asked Messi for his shirt after debuting means that Dembélé is overwhelmed by playing alongside the likes of Messi:
"I think he's fine. I don't have much of a reference point because I didn't see him training with his previous team. What is obvious is that he has to get used to an idea football that is perhaps different to the one he had before. Because FC Barcelona play in a certain way, although there are aspects that are similar to the way he played at Dortmund. But I don't think he's really overwhelmed by anything."
On whether playing more long corner kicks into the box this season is by design or just a coincidence:
"I think it's too soon to make comparisons with what was done before. It's true that we had different players before, perhaps with Neymar, the team played more short corners, it's true. Other teams knew that we played short corners. But we have to try to surprise teams."
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