After two days off, it’s time to start thinking hard about the game at San Mamés on Sunday at 9.00pm (CET). Pedro Rodríguez appeared before the press today to discuss that match and a number of other issues.
One of the main topics was the fact that he is struggling to get into the first eleven this season. “It gets harder each year because I’m sharing a team with the best players in the world” he said. “We all want to get a game and we’re all working hard to get our chances … When you’re not playing regularly, it isn’t easy to keep your form.”
One of the players keeping Pedro out of the side is the in-form Neymar Jr, but there is no bitterness where the player himself is concerned. “It’s a pleasure to have him in the team” he said. “He seems very calm about things and his confidence is high.”
In fact, the Barça striker would be happy to play anywhere on the field as long as it meant getting a run-out. Even as a full-back if he had to! “It’s not my natural position and I don’t know how good I’d be there” he told the press. “But if the boss decided to change me, then I’d be willing to give it a go … I always give everything I can for the team.”There are difficult grounds to visit and I’m sure it’ll be a tight contest
Now that Real Madrid have played and won their game in hand, Barça find themselves four points adrift of the top spot in La Liga. “But there are still plenty of points to play for” insisted Pedro. “There are difficult grounds to visit and I’m sure it’ll be a tight contest … But if Madrid could drop some points to close the gap a bit, then that would be more than welcome.”
The Madrid derby this coming weekend could have a huge bearing on the eventual outcome, but Pedro refused to comment on that. All he’s worried about right now is beating Athletic Bilbao.We are a lot more confident now and there’s a very positive vibe in the squad
“The team is playing some great football at the moment and that’s good going into the final stretch of the season” he continued, when asked about Barça’s eight-match winning streak. “We have been working just as hard all season, but we are a lot more confident now and there’s a very positive vibe in the squad”.
What particularly stands out for Pedro is the way the team has reacted when they have gone behind in matches for, as he says, “we showed that against a team as good as Atlético Madrid. And that has been a huge boost for our morale as we look ahead to the big Cup and Champions League matches that are around the corner”.