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Koeman: “We have an important week ahead of us”

Ronald Koeman during a press conference / Miguel Ruiz FCB
Ronald Koeman during a press conference / Miguel Ruiz FCB
Ronald Koeman during a press conference / Miguel Ruiz FCB

Ronald Koeman spoke to the press ahead of the match against Valencia on Sunday evening. He addressed different topics like the opponent, injuries, Gavis breakthrough, and more.

On the opponent:

“We expect a tough match, as Valencia always has a very competitive team. They are well-prepared physically, so we will have to do well with the ball. We also have to improve a couple of things in defense. The fact that we play at home means we will be the protagonists. It is a very important match.”

On the recent results:

“I always try to stay calm, although that is not easy. You have to invest your energy where it matters. To work on the things that need improvements and prepare for the upcoming matches. That is to win them, of course.”

On Kun Aguero:

“His status has improved lately. He played 20-25 minutes on Wednesday and it went well. He still lacks game rhythm and physique. He will get that by slowly getting back in the matches. It is possible that he will already be included on the squad list for tomorrow. His quality and what he can offer to this team are undeniable. For now, the most important thing for him is to be completely physically ready and he will do so by playing.”

On Ousmane Dembele:

“He is working really hard to get back with the group. He still needs some time before he can return to the pitch. There are still doubts whether he will be back for the Clasico, as it is still a week away. We will have to wait and see, as it is still unsure.”

“Whether he plays or not if he does not renew, is a matter of the club management.”

On the match against Dynamo Kyiv:

“The most important is the game against Valencia, which comes first. We know that we have to win all 6 points in the two matches against Dynamo, but Wednesday is still away.

On Pedri renewal:

“I am not a part of it, as the management does these things. But we are all delighted as we want to keep the best players here, especially young players with a bright future. In the end, it all depends on the player himself. He will have to keep improving. He has to keep learning and listen to the experienced players for advice.”

Whether Ansu can already start a match:

“We will decide tomorrow. He is improving every day, even though he was away for a long time. He cannot completely recover his form in 2 weeks. There are 3 matches to be played this week and he cannot play the whole three. We have to decide what is best for him and for this team.”

On injuries:

“We need everybody healthy to compete optimally. We lacked players with individual quality. We have to understand that some of them are not yet at their best. Everyone wants to be involved as they know there is an important week ahead of us.”

On playing at stadiums at full capacity:

“The fans have had an enormous effect on the team. Having as much of them present as possible makes for a different environment than before. It is very helpful to feel supported at home and it gives you additional motivation.”

On his future:

“I am already used to these rumors. It is always the same at big clubs, there are always issues with coaches. It was the same last year. The president publicly defended and supported me, so things are fine for now. But every coach has to win matches in order to keep his job.”

“It is all talking about the past. Sometimes we are having good runs and then it gets more complicated. As I said, I am used to it and I want to put my energy where it matters. How I feel is of less importance than winning matches. I am the coach and I am doing my best for this club.”

On Lenglet:

“Him not featuring is a technical decision. He has suffered from a certain discomfort for a long time now and it does not allow him to train as effectively as he should. Nonetheless, he keeps on working hard and I have nothing to say about his professionalism. He is a true example for the others.”

On Busquets and his performances:

“He was great for Spain. We have to help him as a team. While pressing, we cannot be compared to the Spain national team. In order for him to play better, we have to improve as a team.”

On Gavi:

“Gavi has shown that despite his young age he can play at the highest level. Whenever I or Luis Enrique offered him a chance, he has taken advantage of it. It is the beauty of football. We love to give opportunities to youngsters.”

On the squad:

“Little by little we are nearing the squad we want. We try to include the players who will improve the squad. There were a lot of injuries, so we were also unlucky. But if we improve, I think we can fight for the title.”

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