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Manager Xavi Llorens addresses the press at the Open Media Day / VÍCTOR SALGADO - FCB

Monday was Open Media Day for the women’s team at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper as they spoke to the press ahead of Wednesday’s UEFA Women’s Champions League round of 16 game at the Miniestadi against Twente (7.00pm CET, live on Barça TV). Barça manager Xavi Llorens admits that his team is feeling confident after the 1-0 win in Holland, but also knows there is a lot of work still to be done, especially now that the Dutch side have recovered their captain Anouk Dekker.

He called on as many fans as possible to come along to the Miniestadi to support the side, after a massive 15,000 people turned out to watch the first leg last week. The players themselves are naturally excited about the chance to make it into the quarter finals of the competition, but are keeping their feet firmly on the ground. They all agree that the most important thing is to try to get an early goal, which will leave them very strongly poised to qualify.

Here’s a selection of quotes from the Monday morning press conference:

Xavi Llorens

“We are really looking forward to the game. But we’re all feeling a bit down after the Collerense game yesterday, where we weren’t at our best. It was very worrying, we played badly. We’ve spoken about that this morning and analysed what went wrong, but from now on we’re only thinking about Twente. They’re a very difficult opponent, and it’ll be very different to the first leg. They’ve recovered Dekker, a veteran player and their captain, and she carries the weight of the team. It will very different from the first leg, but I hope we can change our game too. It’s going to be a tight match”.

“The most important thing is to stop them from scoring. That doesn’t mean we’re not going to attack, but we’re going to have to be careful at the back, especially because of their pace on the wings. We need to be prepared for whatever system they opt to use and try to get the game to flow the way we want it”.

“They are a very young team. They enjoy the game and have some quality players. Their captain Dekker brings more character to the side, she positions the players and encourages them. Twente will have more personality with her on the field. They’ll be coming here to win, but they’ll keep their heads straight … We need to avoid making mistakes. We need to try to keep Twente in their own half”.

“Winning the first leg 1-0 was good because anything other than a defeat and we’ll go through. If we can score an early goal, then they’ll have to get two. But there is always the danger of what Twente can do on the counter attack”.

“I hope plenty of supporters come along to the Mini. I know an effort has been made to mobilise the fans, and I’m grateful for that. I call on anyone that enjoys women’s football and any clubs that have women’s teams to cancel training for a day and come along instead to watch a Catalan team playing in the Champions League. Women’s football needs to grow. The clubs, the players and the press are doing their bit, all we need is for more fans to come and watch. We have to achieve this together”.

Marta Unzué

“We have a favourable result from the first leg, but there are still 90 difficult minutes to play at home. They’re very young and daring players but we can afford to play with the result more than they can. Confident? We know that the only way we can only get through this tie is with concentration, accuracy and the help of our fans”.

Olga García

“We’re being cautious about this match. We know that they’ll throw everything at us and they’re very competitive. The idea is to score a quick goal, but we need to keep our feet on the ground. We can’t let them score. If they come at us looking for a goal then they’ll leave space at the back and that’s how we can get a goal that would put us in a very strong position.”

“It would be great to see the Miniestadi full. It would be a huge success for us to get to the quarter finals.”


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