Ernesto Valverde: Derby a special motivation in the Copa del Rey
'We have the advantage of playing at home and we hope our fans can spur us on to come back in the tie' says Barça boss
FC Barcelona face Espanyol in the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final tie. 1-0 down from the first leg, the blaugranes are nevertheless confident of turning the tie around. “We know that we are behind on aggregate and it’s do or die, but we have the advantage of playing at home in the second leg and we hope the fans can spur us on,” said Ernesto Valverde in the Barça coach’s tradition pre-match press conference on Wednesday at the Ciutat Esportiva.
“This derby has special motivation because we have to come from behind. The cup is a competition that excites us,” he continued.
The man known as ‘Txingurri’ went on to reveal that he expected a similar match to the first leg. “I don’t think Espanyol will sit back but I don’t think they will come out on the attack from the start as they ahead in the tie. They are an organised side and they will wait for their chance,” said the Barça coach.
For Valverde there is no favourite in the tie given it’s tricky nature as the derby of the city of Barcelona. Finally, the blaugrana boss went on to pay tribute to Javier Mascherano, the Argentine having said goodbye to FC Barcelona in an event at the Auditori 1899 at Camp Nou on Wednesday. Valverde is convinced “[Mascherano] will be a coach because you can see how he thinks as a player and he always has questions for the coach.”