Tata Martino. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

Tata Martino’s debut on the bench of the Camp Nou ended with a convincing 8-0 victory over Santos. After the match, the Argentinian manager held a press conference in the Ricard Maxenchs Press Room. Clear and direct, Martino said: “The pressure is what I liked most about the game. I was interested in winning possession back high up the pitch and we did that in the first and second halves.”

He went on to say: “I was interested in finding the first positive responses [from my players], especially the concepts of intensity and pressure ... the team plays very good football and we want to insist in three or four aspect of our play so that we can have more possibilities.” The manager is expecting his men to be more vertical in their play once they recover possession, for example.

Pleased with his roster

When asked about the players he’s inherited, Martino said: “I’m very pleased with the team. We’ll see if we can increase the technical quality. If it isn’t possible, I’m happy with what I have.” Moving on to players who could possibly leave the team this summer (according to various media reports), Martino was clear: “I have spoken with Cesc and he told me what he thought. The idea of not counting on him doesn’t enter my mind, but the player also has to decide. I dare to say that he will stay.”

Good reception

Martino then went on to describe his first week as Barça’s head manager: “we have accommodated easily. We’ve been very well received by the Club. We’ve managed to conduct three or four training sessions. I’ve met with the lads, and if you take advantage of the quality these players have, they end up adapting very quickly. Now we have to take advantage of the tour.”

The Argentinian then thanked the members of the staff who were already working with the team before his arrival: “I’ve been very comfortable from day one. We’re working well together with the people who were already here, they’ve received us well and we talk often.”