Carles Puyol, lundi / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Carles Puyol spoke to the media at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper this morning and expressed the feelings that the squad were feeling after the news of Tito Vilanova’s departure: “the truth is that it was a very hard blow for us and unfortunately, we’ve suffered quite a few recently. This has been the toughest though. We didn’t expect anything like that. The team is really affected by this still and Tito is very much present for us. We want to send him our power. He explained the situation and transmitted his strength to us. We are with him all the way”.
 
Puyol also stressed that the situation would create a further motivation for the players: “this isn’t about a coach or a player being forced out, it’s an illness and what counts most is the person. Tito asked us to give everything for the Club, which would be the best way to help him. So that is what we will do. We will keep working as hard as we can and if he can take pleasure from our results, then all the better”.
 
Quizzed about a possible successor to Tito, Puyol insisted that the board needed to take the decision in an atmosphere of calm: “all the names being mentioned are capable of being in charge of Barça. Whoever comes, we’ll help him as much as possible. We have our own way of playing and our own philosophy of football I am convinced they will be looking for a coach who can adapt to this and that they will make a good choice”.

Puyol is still on the way back from injury and he explained: “I’m getting better. I really want to train with the rest of the players, but I can’t do that just yet. I’m not putting down any date for when I’ll be back. It’s been a hard year with three operations and when I do come back I want to be sure I am 100%”
 
Finally, the Club captain was asked about Neymar and he expressed his belief that : “Neymar is a great player, really good one on one. He may be young, but he’s played in some very big games – he’s ready to play for Barça”. As to any possible move away from the Camp Nou by Cesc, Puyol was adamant: “I don’t think he’ll be leaving”.