Jordi Roura / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Barça are fully focused on preparing for Thursday night’s cup tie with Cordoba at the Camp Nou (21.30). Jordi Roura provided the details at a press conference this lunchtime, at which he said that “we are treating the game with all the seriousness in the world despite having such a favourable lead”. The first leg of the Copa del Rey round of 16 match ended 2-0 to the Catalans. Roura, who also confirmed that Tito Vilanova that will not be directing the team, added that “there are thousands of examples to show that these cup matches can be very difficult to win.”

One of the main concerns is that Cordoba will be under very little pressure at the Camp Nou. “They’re a very intense team, with some good, dynamic players. They are coming here with nothing to lose and being such a daring side, they’ll not have too much to worry about”. The coach therefore insisted that the fans should make an effort to come to the ground and get behind the players.

Winning streak

If Barça qualify, they’ll go on to face Malaga in the last eight, which would mean the two sides facing each other three times in a fortnight. But Roura preferred not to comment on that situation while qualification is still in the balance, merely saying that a win against Cordoba would be the ideal boost ahead of the Liga fixture with Malaga on Sunday night. “It is important not to break our winning dynamic, because that’s the best way of coping with the Malaga match” he said.

Messi out of this world

The name on everybody’s lips right now is once again Leo Messi. On the Argentinian, Roura said “I take my hat off to him. I can’t overstress the importance of him winning the Ballon d’Or four times. It’s historic, out of this world”. But he added that “for the club it also made us very proud to have five players in the FIFA world XI”.

Naming names

Jordi Roura also commented on the situations of several other members of the squad. He described David Villa as “a very important player for us,” pointing out that he is returning after a long spell on the sidelines through injury. “He is doing a lot of hard work. We have no doubt that he’ll get back to 100 per cent”. He also confirmed that Adriano “has been having a little bit of trouble and so we have held him back as a precautionary measure. We’ll decide on Thursday whether he is fit to play”. Finally, he was asked whether Isaac Cuenca will be sent out on loan during the winter transfer window, to which he responded that “we haven’t discussed loaning him or any other player”.

Happy about Pep’s return

Jordi Roura also said he was delighted to hear that Pep Guardiola will be going back into management next year. “I think it’s great news” he said. “After all he has achieved, it seems a shame for him not to be part of the football world”.