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FC Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde faced the latest round of media questions on Saturday, the day before the Liga trip to Betis. Here are some of the top quotes:

Second half of the league season

“The idea is to keep this winning dynamic going and to do as well as we did in the first half of the season. But Betis will not be an easy opponent to start against.”

Betis

“Betis like to get the ball into the opposition’s half, and try to dominate possession. So one of the keys to the game will be dealing with the pressure that they create.”

“They are a brave team that likes to keep hold of the ball. They play good, attacking football. Their recent results have been a boost for their morale, especially the win against Sevilla. It’s going to be an interesting, difficult encounter.”

No excuses

“The players won’t be distracted by the cup second leg against Espanyol next Thursday. Ultimately, La Liga is the competition that they are always most strongly focused on.”

“Injuries have been a problem recently, and to players that play in similar positions. All we can do is hope they all gradually get back to full fitness, not only so that they can play but also so that other players can get some rest.”

New arrivals

Yerry Mina is now free to play after the transfer has been sorted out. I have spoken to him and although I have told him that there is a chance that he might be in the squad tomorrow, he still needs time to adapt to the way we play and that’s not something that is easily done.”

Coutinho is making good progress with his injury. But I am not going to set any dates as deadlines because that would only create unnecessary pressure. When we think he’s ready, he will be picked to play.”

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