Pep Guardiola. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ (FCB).

Pep Guardiola. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ (FCB).

“We’re in an extreme situation, the only good result is victory. We have to move forward with a fighting spirit, effort, and belief,” said Pep Guardiola ahead of the Osasuna match tomorrow. The manager said that he wouldn’t allow his players to “give up” until the end of the season.

The trip to Navarra comes on the heels of Barça’s King’s Cup final berth. Guardiola said that securing a place in the final is a reflection of the effort put in by the team since the beginning of the season: “when you get to a final it always reinforces you. We started with six titles; we won three, in the other [competition] we’re in the final and we have two more competitions to close out the season. We have to keep doing our work to maintain people’s faith in us.”

Reyno de Navarra, a complicated ground

Guardiola is clear: “it’s one of the hardest tests we have left this season ... we went there a month ago to play in the Cup, and it wasn’t easy. In fact, it’s always been difficult for us in that stadium.” The manager said that he won’t be thinking about the Champions League match against Bayer Leverkusen when he names his starting XI in Pamplona. He also said that his team is ready to compete after a grueling January schedule: “January was a tough month, we played against great teams without much rest. Once we reached our goal [Cup final], the team trained well, what I saw made me optimistic.”

On the other hand, Guardiola talked about Sergio Busquets’ absence in the squad ahead of tomorrow’s match: “he’s not ready. The wound on his knee and stitches need to heal correctly, if not, we run the risk of losing him for two or three weeks. He is getting better, we’ll see how his injury evolves and if we can bring him with us to Germany.”

Cup final venue

When asked about the possibility of the Camp Nou hosting the Cup final, Guardiola said: “I understand that the most logical thing is to have the final in a neutral stadium. I wouldn’t like to play in San Mamés, because it would be an advantage for them. The Federation will decide.”