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Koeman: “I have no fear about my future, the club and the president decide”

Ronald Koeman at the press room / Miguel Ruiz
Ronald Koeman at the press conference / Miguel Ruiz / FCB

After a tough outing against Bayern at home in the Champions League, FC Barcelona face Granada in LaLiga on Monday, as they look to return to winning ways. Ronald Koeman spoke to the press prior to the match, where he talked about the upcoming match, his future, Ansu Fati and much more.

Here’s what Koeman had to say:

On what he expects from Granada

“They haven’t changed much. Every coach has his thoughts, but they have a clear system with 4-3-3 and they play straight up. There are players who have the confidence from last year. We play at home, with the public, and it cannot be compared to last year.”

On whether he needs time for his project

“These are exaggerated things. There are changes in the team, injuries and many young players. People who know surely say that it is a change, but what counts is winning games. I had to answer before Bayern about whether I am going to renew for another year and now the next questions will be about whether I am afraid about my future. You have to put in energy to win the game.”

On whether he feels questioned

“Our president came out with a message the other day and there is no need to repeat things. I am more realistic than opportunistic. A year ago Barça lost to Bayern 2-8 and played with Messi, Griezmann, Suárez and another day we finished the game with Mingueza, Araujo, Balde, Pedri, Gavi, Demir and we all waited for Ansu Fati.”

On his feelings about the team

“We are confident in winning games, there is still a long way to go. I hope to get people back to have more players available. I know the results count. I have no fear about my future. In the end the club and the president decide.”

On Ansu Fati

“Despite his youth, Ansu has shown his quality as a player and scored quite a few goals. We do not set a date, but he is working with the team. It could be in a week or in ten days. We know that we are missing him in attack and it is important for Ansu to have minutes. We are talking about a great player.”

On whether he considers that there is a campaign against him

“Everyone has the right to have an opinion. Surely there are people for and against Ronald Koeman. I do not speak about this. There are people who want me to continue and there are people who think they should look for someone. This can never be changed.”

On Agüero and Coutinho

“Kun is working in the field with the physio and still lacks. Coutinho entered well the other day and we will decide if he can start. It will not be for 90 minutes. We have to do what is best for the team and for Philippe.”

On whether he regrets signing for Barça

“No, no. We all want the best for the club. Knowing the whole thing, I was interested in being the coach. I had the feeling that it was a difficult moment, with the financial situation and the team. I fight and I want to win, I want to be here.”

On the feelings in the squad

“The players are also realistic, especially the older ones who have been successful. We do not accept and we want to improve, but we are realistic and changing things is not done in two days. They think the same as me.” 

On when young players can have more prominence with the team

“I am not afraid to start a young player, but putting six right away is not good either. They will participate and have their games. It is difficult to know when they will have more games. If there’s a player like Pedri, you can’t stop him from starting. It depends on many things.”

On the previous games against Granada and Cádiz

“Barça is capable of winning every game, but you have to defend well. We have to have an attacking game, with movements, and be effective in our game. If we remember the games, we were superior at home against Granada and Cádiz at home, but we drew with Granada and lost against Cádiz.”

On whether he will return to 4-3-3

“There are different systems to be able to win. Our basic system is 4-3-3, but if you have two forwards and many center-backs, then you have to adapt. If we had played a more open game, the defeat would have been bigger.”

On whether Balde will start

“He entered the other day very well, with quality and energy. Dest has also played on the left and Mingueza also did it with the B team, but the most normal thing is that I prefer a left-footed player. You have to know that we are talking about a very young player, but I am not afraid to start the game with Balde.”

On Riqui Puig

“He has to improve in many aspects of the game. The other day he warmed up and it was a possibility for him to enter the game, but I had to make a change for Jordi Alba’s injury. He has to work like any other young player.”