This weekend brings FC Barcelona a Sunday lunchtime fixture at Betis (12.00pm CET) and moments before overseeing the final training session before the trip to Andalusia, first team manager Luis Enrique was in the Ciutat Esportiva pressroom to answer questions from the media.
Here’s a selection of standout comments from the Saturday afternoon conference:
“Betis have changed in many ways since the game earlier this season, and the differences include a change of coach. Gus Poyet used five defenders against us at the Camp Nou, but that wasn’t his usual method, while Víctor Sánchez has been using that system for some weeks now.”
“In their stadium, Betis will try to generate problems for us, they are in great home form.”
“All that matters to me is the game at the Villamarín, and getting three points to keep putting pressure on the teams above us”.
“At this stage of the cup, we were always going to get a difficult draw, and we got an especially hard one against Atlético. It will be a tough, difficult tie but with the huge reward of playing in the Copa del Rey Final if we win. It’ll be a competitive challenge and a great contest for both teams.”
“All four semi-finalists are there because we deserve to be so it will be hard for any of us to get to the final. It’s a competition that we all find attractive.”
“I’m looking at different options to cover for Busquets, and Mascherano is one of those, but I never like to reveal my tactics.”
“It is important for all of the players to keep control of themselves on the pitch, but it’s difficult. I do try to get my players to do as much as they can to help the referees, and not let their emotions get the better of them.”
“We were looking to get a good string of results together, to hit good form, because that will close the gap on the leaders. We got that. Now, all we can do is get better on a day to day basis and keep collecting points. But there’s a long way to go. We have to take things a game at a time.”
“The morale at the club is much the same as ever. As always, however, we need to keep our heads straight and stay in control of every situation. The fans have always shown their faith in the team, even when we have gone through bad spells.”