Koeman keen to 'give young ones a chance'

Koeman keen to 'give young ones a chance'

FC Barcelona manager speaks to the press ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash in Hungary

Ronald Koeman has spoken to the media ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Ferencváros:

The game

“The most important thing was to qualify. But at Barça we always want to win and play well. We want to top the group.”

“I expect a difficult game. Ferencváros have good players up front and we will have to keep their offensive play in check.”

Messi left out

Messi doesn’t usually get rested but there are going to be times this season when he does, like against Kiev and tomorrow. Already being qualified is the main reason I’ve decided not to use him against Ferencváros. I also want to give chances to the younger players and the next league game is very important and tomorrow is the last chance to get some rest.”

Centre of defence 

Umtiti will be back soon. We don’t want to risk things with Araujo, or anyone. A footballer has to be 100% fit before they can be in the team.”

Piqué is working hard to get fit every day. I had no input on the decision to operate, that’s up to the doctors and hm. I don’t know when he’ll back but I’m expecting it to be before the end of the season.”

Young stars

“You have to give the youngsters a chance. If you can’t improve the team with signings, then it’s all about the youth players. I’ve watched them train and there are some quality players and they’re all used to playing under pressure. And they have great players around them. So you have to trust in them and gives them chances whenever you can.”

Martin Braithwaite

“We are trying to work out what our best attack is. Braithwaite has worked hard for a place. We need a centre forward more in some games than in others, but he’s doing well and making it more competitive for places in attack.”

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