Guardiola, during the match against Real Sociedad / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

At the start of the press conference after the 2-1 win over Real Sociedad, Josep Guardiola wanted to thank the 53,000 fans that braved the freezing cold and came to the Camp Nou to cheer on the team. “I have reverence and gratitude for all of them,” he said. He then went on the congratulate Tello, Cuenca and Dos Santos “for the great match that they played.” The manager also expressed his eagerness “to get back some of the [injured] players little by little.” Guardiola noted that his curtailed squad is putting in a “titanic effort” each match especially considering the amount of injured first-team players.

“In the end we won by a short margin, and we could have tied, it’s true that we generated a lot of good football, and you go home with a strange feeling,” explained the manager. He insisted: “let’s see if we can get back some [injured] players. The players we have are putting in a titanic effort, and on Wednesday they have another do or die match that will decide if we can [play and] leave the King’s Cup to one side so we can focus on the other two competitions. I hope we can play the final.”

Tello, “a pure winger”

That’s how Guardiola referred to the first goalscorer of the night: “[Tello’s] a pure winger, a bullet, very fast. He’s the type of player that’s very hard to find, he’s very young, and with time he’ll learn more things. He did a great job today.” He went on to praise the winger and Dos Santos, saying they both “played very responsibly.” He added: “they are better players now. Today we became stronger as an institution.”

Finally, when asked about Messi’s performance, the manger said “he’s as eager as ever. He self motivates. He could have scored four goals. As long as he’s feeling well, he’ll play. The pitch was a big stumbling block for him tonight. He scored an amazing goal after a very good pass from Dani.”

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