Puyol, durant la roda de premsa. FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Carles Puyol talked to the press this Thursday afternoon and was promptly asked about FC Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova. “Tito gave us strength with his desire to fight. The players were upbeat after our conversation with him ... after he finished explaining the situation we felt a bit better,” said Puyol who noted that “you can never be prepared to receive that kind of news.”

In addition, Puyol said, “what we have to do is keep on doing our job, train hard and eagerly await Tito’s return.” He added: “The best way we can help him is to continue working like we have been. [Tito] is our leader and we have to follow the path that he’s laid out for us.”

Roura ready for the challenge

Jordi Roura will lead the first team in Tito Vilanova’s absence. On Vilanova’s assistant manager, Puyol said, “he’s worked with us for many years. He’s very active in the training sessions and in how we play, our approach to the game won’t change. We’re in good hands.” He added: “Having [Roura] in command is the right decision.”

The FC Barcelona captain was then asked about Éric Abidal’s return to the first team training sessions. “Abidal looks good. What he needs to do now is to take it slowly, little by little. I’m sure he’ll be ready to compete very shortly. We’re much stronger with him on the team,” said Puyol.

Champions League matchup against AC Milan

“I’m very pleased that we’re going to play against AC Milan. I’ve always enjoyed playing against them. It will be a good playoff,” said Puyol. When asked about Bojan Krkic, who currently plays for AC Milan, the Barça captain said, “it’s always special to see Bojan.”

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