Luis Enrique was speaking before Wednesday's game with APOEL / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Luis Enrique has called on the supporters to get behind the team on the Champions League 2014/15 debut, saying that “we need our fans and we’ll try to give them a spectacular game … Three points against APOEL FC would be very important for us.” He reckoned those points would be just as important as any against PSG, theoretically the strongest opponent in Group H.

He didn’t like being asked how far he expects his team to get in Europe. “Our target for now is just to win the first game” he said. “We’ve started well in the league, now we need to do the same in the Champions League. With a squad like ours, it would make no sense to set minimum targets in this competition.”When we don’t have the ball we’re eleven defenders, and when we have it we’re eleven forwardsHowever, he added that “the players might feel special nerves before a Champions League match like this, because of what this competition means, with the stars and music at the start and all of that. But for a manager it’s the same job as ever, and I’m preparing for this game as I would for any other. And what I do know is that we’re going to have to do a lot of things better than our opponent if we want to win.”

The team has kept three consecutive clean sheets, and Luis Enrique was delighted to say that he’s proud of how the side has come on in defence, praising his players on their attitude. “When we don’t have the ball we’re eleven defenders, and when we have it we’re eleven forwards” he said. I am very happy overall with how we’re defending. He cited the example of the opening goal against Athletic Bilbao, a move that started thanks to Sandro putting pressure on the Basque defence.It’s far too early to start talking about other teams. It’s more important for us to worry about ourselvesReal Madrid are already six points behind Barça in the league, but Luis Enrique insists that “I’m just expecting the very best football from my own team and trying to get through matches. It’s far too early to start talking about other teams. Of course we always want them to lose, but it’s more important for us to worry about our own road”.

And the next stop on that road is APOEL FC. “If we play intensely and get into our right rhythm then I’m sure we’ll be on the way to victory” he commented. “But if our opponents get the better of us in certain aspects, then we could well end up suffering.”

[[BOTOVERMELL::TICKETS++FCB v APOEL::https://tickets-fcb.fcbarcelona.com/fcbchampions/en_US/entradas/evento/2256/session/111961/step1r2::HOR::NF::NO-TRACKING::::::]]

Back to top