Barca coach Ronald Koeman and goalkeeper Neto sat down for the pre-match press conference prior to Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Ferencváros.
It was Neto who addressed the media first.
How do you imagine the Clasico on Saturday?
“I have little to talk about El Clasico because tomorrow we have a Champions League game that we want to win, my focus and that of the whole team is on tomorrow’s game.”
Do you agree to negotiate the salary issue with the club?
“On the subject of burofax and internal issues, this is not the time or the place to speak. We are trained to play football and we are focused on tomorrow’s game because of the importance it has”
How do you see Coutinho?
“First of all, I am happy to have a friend like him back in the squad and adding quality. He has shown the level he has, he has come back very excited. Not only for the club we are in, but also for the Champions League title that he achieved at Bayern, he will give us a lot of quality with the motivation he has”
Doubts about the defeat at Getafe?
“No one likes losing. The Getafe game was a difficult one, but we must archive it and focus on tomorrow. We cannot stay with that through the season because football is going very fast. What we have to do is keep working for tomorrow’s game.”
How do you disagree on the salary issue?
“I think it would be incoherent to answer now. The whole squad and I are focused on the game. It is a personal and individual issue; each one has their competent people and their opinion and the important thing now is tomorrow’s game. We are focused on getting a positive result tomorrow. “
Are you considering continuing if Ter Stegen renews?
“I work and do my best to play for Barça and show my quality. Then it is the coach who decides”
What do you know about Ferencvaros?
“Ferencvaros, in addition to learning about them, you have to have the utmost respect. We know that they will give their maximum, they will want to show their quality because they have a great opportunity. They have gone through the preliminary phase beating heavy opponents, but we will try to overcome them.”
How has the adaptation been?
“Koeman’s adaptation to Barça has been fast. Of course, everyone is looking for results but the important thing is that each player surrenders himself and assumes the commitment in training to follow his ideas. The intensity of the training is also seen in the games”.
How do you see Griezmann?
“I see him well, as always, we know how this profession is, things do not always turn out as one expects, but the season is long and I am sure he will give us a lot.”
Ronald Koeman then took over from Neto to address the media at the Ciutat Esportiva Press Room.
How excited is the squad to face the Champions League?
“Every week is important, we want to start on the right foot in the Champions League and it is very important to win the games at home.”
Importance of winning to have stability at the moment?
“Being a Barça player or coach there is always pressure to win games. We know the club’s situation, there are things off the pitch that we cannot influence. We can work with the players to adjust to the new system. We have a lot of young and new players, we are optimistic about tomorrow’s game. I think the best way to think right now is to go game by game“
Thoughts on Dembele’s performance at Getafe?
“Ousmane is working well lately. He did lose a lot of balls in the first half because it is his game, to play on the inside and take risks. That’s why I told him to play more on the outside and in the second half he was better. He is working to have more minutes.”
How do you see Messi?
“It may be that Messi’s performance could be better at the moment, but he’s happy, he wants to be team captain and he’s improving. He also had bad luck with the ball hitting the post and also in the last play of the game. I have no doubts about his performance and we will surely see him in the next matches”
Still insisting on Depay?
“We have played four games and scored eight goals, I don’t know if there is another team that has done it. I’m not worried, we have enough quality at the top to score.”
Disappointed in some heavyweights or expected more from players?
“I’m not disappointed, of course you can improve. Unhappy with the last result, but I see the team happy. I’m not disappointed, you can never be disappointed by a player who works hard, my job is to try to help them improve.”
What was missing in the last Champions League?
“I don’t know because I wasn’t here, if we fail this season I will answer”
How important is it to win tomorrow thinking about the Clasico?
“It is always important to win after a defeat and be able to start on the right foot in the Champions League. We must win the 3 points at home and this game is no different from others. Only the opponent’s name changes but we have to go game by game.”
Can Ansu and Pedri be headliners tomorrow?
“It is possible because it does not depend on the years, but on the players, but there is a lot of competition as well. I am very happy with the performance of Pedri and Ansu, we know they have ups and downs at these ages, but they are working very well.
Griezmann’s psychological theme?
“Griezmann knows his situation very well, not only he, all those above can improve. He is working very well and the only thing he can do is continue to do so to change his situation.”
Barca among the favorites for the Champions League?
“Knowing what has happened lately, we are not the maximum favorite, but we can go far. At Barça you always play to win games and titles, in Spain and in Europe; but there are more favorite teams, like us.”
Can you give Busquets and De Jong a rest?
“First, we have to say that it will not be an easy game, we are going to put together a strong team. Saturday’s game is not important right now, the important one is tomorrow”
What kind of game do you expect tomorrow?
“A difficult game because nowadays there are no easy rivals”
Who do you consider the most dangerous player?
“I don’t like to talk about the players individually, as a group it can complicate our lives, although they have dangerous players at the top”
What happens to Spanish football to not be among the favorites?
“I think this is happening everywhere, all the teams are more powerful in each league and with COVID-19, it is complicated for everyone. We do not have fans at home, without their support it is very difficult. It is a strange situation and it does not only happen here. In all the leagues there are strange results. Liverpool, Bayern, Juventus are no longer leaders. Yes, we can be leaders because we have pending matches, but COVID has a great impact on life and on football as well. “