BARCELONA – Ronald Koeman was not carried away by the euphoria this Wednesday, considering that Barcelona can assault the leadership in the League, but he vindicated the “great work” carried out by his team until reaching the current situation. “Leadership is a prize … But first we have to win,” warned the Dutch coach, who warned that after the game against Granada “we will still have a long way to go” and reiterated that we must go with caution: “We are not yet the first “.
“If you look back it is an unexpected situation; to be able to fight to win the League is something very great,” said Koeman, who recalled that his team “has long had no other choice but to win and that is why I still think that we should go match to match”.
“I like it. For me to be first is better, because it means that others have to fight to pass you in the classification,” he acknowledged, recalling the leagues won on the last day during his time as a footballer and hoping to repeat the success: ” If we are as lucky as we were with Depor or Madrid in Tenerife, we will surely be champions. “
“I do not know if we are the strongest mentally because I do not know how the other teams are … We have gone through difficult times, come back important games … The history of the Cup explains it well and now we have five or six games left. to go with everything, live it with discomfort, with fatigue, with control because the team that dominates this will win the League ”, he revealed, convinced of the moment of his own.
“We have been under a lot of pressure for a long time,” agreed the coach, recalling that “we know, as we knew, that we could not fail because we need the points; It is not more important now than in the last games but we are clear that whoever wins the League will have to win almost every game. “
“We have a history of 15 victories in the last 17 games and it is something impressive. This has had to be like that to be able to fight for the championship … And you need the other teams not to win their games,” he acknowledged, highlighting that now ” the team has taken the reins, is confident, has increased effectiveness and is capable of doing the best. “
He did not give clues about the line-up that he may present this Thursday but he did warn that if any player “is not well enough to play there is the possibility of changing … If the team works, you do not have to play much and although I know it is hard for the substitutes , the most important thing is the team “, stating that the eleven will not be raised pending the four warned of sanction (Lionel Messi, Frenkie de Jong, Antoine Griezmann and Oscar Mingueza) that are in the squad:” I am not worried; they are things of the Soccer and the game we have in two weeks won’t be important if we don’t win the previous two first. You have to be smart. “
“I don’t see the players thinking that they already have the job done,” Koeman rejected, stating that in the squad “everyone is very focused. We may be the favorites but we don’t think of it that way and we know how difficult it is to win games, none of them are easy, “he revealed, congratulating himself that his team has learned” to go game by game, which is the most important thing. It comes later is not the important thing. What matters is tomorrow, “he said.
“We have not changed much,” he said regarding variations in the work plan, pointing out that “we have a trajectory and a way of working in which preparation is no different”, highlighting the importance of the mix between veterans and young people: “We have leaders in the locker room, experienced people. They, the elderly, must also transmit this to the young. “
“It is important and beautiful for any footballer to have an audience. That is not to mention having it in your favor,” he admitted when questioned about the possibility that the stadiums were partially opened in the last games of the season. “The games are more exciting, different … We lack people in the field and hopefully there can be in the last games “.
OWN NAMES and FUTURE
“I am not interested and I do not know if it is true,” he resolved, firm, before the news of an offer from Paris Saint-Germain to Messi, of whom he repeated that he trusts his continuity “because for me it has to end here, hopefully continue with us because he has been here all his life “, repeating a sentence already said so many times in the immediate past:” It is a decision that Leo will have to make in the end and we cannot do anything, so I am not concerned at all; I’m just worried about tomorrow’s game. “
“Griezmann is very important. I like him, he is a team player, who always works hard and we know that it also depends on his streak,” said Koeman when questioned by the French player, to whom he excused his moments of “bad luck” for emphasize that now “is full of confidence.”
“Neymar is not at Barça,” he cut off all the speculations around the Brazilian PSG player, warning that “we work with our players, the ones we have now.”
“Of course we work thinking about the next season, seeing where we can improve as any club does,” Koeman acknowledged, warning that “we have known how to live without Ansu Fati and despite everything we are the team that has generated the most in attack and we have 76 goals. Without having one or two more players to make a difference, we have taken the games forward, “he claimed, warning, in any case, that” everything depends on the financial situation of the club “when talking about the market.
“As a coach I always try to improve the team, but the president commands. There will be time to talk about this issue but it is in the hands of the club,” he warned, proclaiming that “with Planes and Alemany we decide what is most necessary and in the end the president will decide” .