“Our opponents have been building up to this game for days. They have a lot to win here and they’ll do all they can to do it.”
Ernesto Valverde was speaking ahead of Wednesday’s Copa del Rey opener against second division Cultural Leonesa (9.30pm CET).
“We need to avoid surprises and play a good game because our opponents will be playing at 200%” he added. “We’ll be using some players that don’t get to play as much and there are high hopes pinned on them.”
Speaking more generally, the Barça boss said that “we are happy with our recent results. It’s been a step in the right direction that has been a boost for the team. It’s given us confidence for the tasks ahead. We have to make good of what’s been achieved over the last few days.”
Asked about goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, Valverde commented that “he’s fine. He had a bad day yesterday but he’s OK today and will play tomorrow. We’re very happy with him and the game will do him good.”
Finally, on the involvement of reserve team players in Wednesday’s game, he responded that “every game is a test. Tomorrow we are playing to qualify. It’s not a friendly. So that puts added pressure on those players and the others. But we are looking forward to seeing them play and we’re delighted with their attitude.”