BARCELONA – Ronald Koeman began to leave Sevilla’s disappointment behind and with his eyes set on Alavés, he began to put Paris Saint-Germain on stage, a posh visitor the following Tuesday at the Camp Nou, in the first leg of the round of 16 end of a Champions League especially marked on the Barcelona calendar this season … No matter how much the Dutch coach, this Friday, made it clear that the game in hand “is that of Alavés.”
“Tomorrow’s game is now more important than Tuesday’s because I’ve already said several times that we have to go game by game and we want to continue our good streak in the League by winning. It would be important to face Tuesday’s with more enthusiasm, but not we must think beyond ”, proclaimed the Dutch coach, who made it clear that PSG is not in his eyes when asked about Neymar’s injury:“ Neymar does not play for Alavés. Talking about it is for Monday, not for today. “
“Dest, Pjanic, Braithwaite … They have trained today and tomorrow we will decide if they can play,” he revealed, without giving many clues about the team that he can put into play … and hinting that he does not have Ronald Araujo or Gerard Pique in the short term because “you have to know the margin of a risk. You can’t risk it because it’s PSG … The goal is to get people back in a week and until the end of the season. If it were the last game of the season you can take a risk but now I’m not so favorable. They have to recover well, without haste. “
“Araújo is injured … If he can, if he sees what he wants, we will talk with him and with the doctor but it is important to know what the risk is that can be run. Tomorrow he will not be, sure, and we will see on Monday or Tuesday “, repeated the Barça coach, focusing on the Uruguayan defender and revealing that there will be rotations,” but not many because there is not much to change either. We will put a team to win because by winning you are less tired than if you don’t win. “
“Of course I am concerned about the physical fatigue of the squad because we need freshness … But we are physically well because we have shown it, as in Seville. You could not press if you have not worked well … but there are players with many minutes for not having to all available and you should think about giving someone a rest to be well in the next game, “he admitted, although repeating that the decision regarding breaks and rotations” will be taken tomorrow.
Based on those problems in defense, Koeman was asked if he understood that the candidates could be sorry for not having agreed to the signing of Eric García and if he began by pointing out that “I am not a person who likes to talk about issues from the past.” , ended up doing it in an obvious way: “I spoke with them at the time and said what we needed although I respected the decision. In the end it could not be and I said that we would continue with what we have … But it is clear that with the losses we have had behind us we lack people. We have lowered our performance in defense due to the issue of injuries and it is clear that we are missing something “.
“February and March is where we see the possibilities of being able to win something. We are going to see in a month where we are and what we can aspire to. We have to win the games, be well and have more players available,” he said, saying that he does not take lost the Cup tie against Sevilla: “The result is there but I think we played a good game. We hope to play the second leg at home and I think the team is capable of anything. You have to have a bit of luck too, but I trust my players, ”said Koeman, who once again commented on Jordi Alba’s controversial play.
“I already said after the game that it is a penalty for Alba. There is an image of the referee saying that it is a foul but it is outside. Yes there was a foul, but it was inside and I do not understand why the VAR does not enter as everyone sees it. No It is so complicated for them to tell him that it is inside ”, he regretted, without wanting to enter into controversy because he was reminded of the sanction that Piqué can receive for his criticism of the referees:” Gerard is responsible and experienced enough to say things. What I see is that you have to try to criticize with respect and with words that you can’t get mixed up later. “
Finally, the Barça coach was asked if he could compare the Bayern sextete with the one that Guardiola’s Barcelona conquered in 2009 and he had no doubt when it came to showing his preference between the two: “For me, Guardiola’s Barça because they did the best game I have seen in the last 25 years, more or less. The Bayern thing is impressive, very big, but the way that Barça played was something else “.