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Xavi: “I am going to give everything so that things go well”

Barça manager Xavi at the press conference / SPORT

FC Barcelona face Espanyol in LaLiga at the Camp Nou on Saturday, in what will be the first match for Barça with Xavi in charge. Xavi talked to the press ahead of the match, where he talked about the Catalan Derby, the dressing room rules, return of Alves and much more.

Here’s what Xavi had to say:

On the Catalan Derby

“We have to control the emotional aspect. It is a derby and there will be a lot of tension and nerves. I have already told the players that they have to compete and we have to control all the situations of the game. We are very excited to start well. I have liked what I have seen in training and we have the talent. Tomorrow we will also need the fans. This positivity that exists in the club has to translate into results.”

“We have tried with the players who have stayed during the break, to implement our ideas and analyze Espanyol. We have not had many days to work together, but many players already know our idea. You have to give sacrifices and the talent will come out. We have to all go together, be a team. At home we have to be a fortress.”

On the play style

“Obviously what we want is to play well, have the ball, have chances, not speculate and press hard and we believe that this way it is easier to reach the result. We are restarting a project with all the challenges in the world. We are going to try to show our idea of ​​the game to win.”

On the injuries of Ansu and Dembélé

“We have a training session after the press conference and I have not decided on the starting eleven yet. My feelings are good with the youngsters. We have neither Ansu, nor Dembélé, nor Martin nor Kun, but the young players are ready. There might be some surprises.”

On the dressing room rules

“We all have a lot of life, but in the end it is a coexistence regulation. It is fundamental for a group. I have not had to be a sergeant, it is a matter of order. When we have had these regulations, we have done well. Coexistence has gone well. Standards have to be given a lot of importance. You don’t have to shout or be a sergeant.”

“What I have clear is that when we have put this order and rules we have gone well. I don’t know how they worked before, but it doesn’t interest me much. It’s a matter of team organization, of being a family, of attitude and sacrifice. Values ​​that cannot be lacking in this club.”

On the arrival of Alves

“I gave him a return and I know him perfectly. He will add quality in everything. He is a winner. Then on the field, we have seen him play and he is very well physically, he’s a spectacular footballer. He’s a footballer who is associatively one of the best I’ve seen in my career. The pity is that we can’t make him play until January.”

On the situation of the team

“In the presentation I said that I can’t talk about what was there because I hadn’t seen it. Now I have seen a tremendous predisposition and I like what I’m seeing. We are satisfied, but they will value us according to tomorrow’s match. It is positive that the things we are seeing are working. Tomorrow we have to compete and look for the three points.”

On the time he needs

“I don’t know. Let’s see it, I can’t say anything right now. This week we have been very heavy with talks to say what we want. Tomorrow we compete and I hope that those things will already be seen, especially in the result. We try to make our way by playing good football, but in the end you are going to value us for the result.”

“I am very calm, positive. I am very excited to be at home. I am less nervous than when I was a footballer, now I have to convey the idea. I am calm and confident. The feelings are very good.”

On what has surprised him the most

“The talent of the squad. We come from where we come and the talent shows. The intensity and rhythm has also surprised us. We have been talking continuously with them, we have given them the grill, but it is necessary to compete tomorrow.”

On the fans and the current situation

“The people at home are very important. When things go wrong, they pull us back up. The players also feel bad and want to change. They want to regain feelings and win. Whether they are young or old, we are all in the same boat. It’s difficult to be a Barça player, but the pressure now is on me and the staff. The players have to be happy so that they can perform one hundred percent.”

On the aspirations of the team

“The goal is to win. We have to climb positions. Barcelona have to be fighting for the titles. We have to transmit positive energy and we are currently not in the position that Barcelona deserves. We have to go with everything and see how far we get.”

On Gavi

“He is a good wild card. He can play out wide going inside, inside and even as a pivot. He has good conditions, he is even good one-on-one. He is a very versatile player, he is very young but it is already a reality that he is a player of the future and the present.”

On the pressure of the derby

“It’s a derby. We have played derbies all our lives and it is a special match. I have been the player with the most derbies and I have scored goals. It is an extra motivation for me and the players. Tomorrow we have to go all out. Whenever you win a derby, you come out stronger.”

On the pressure of not losing

“We hope it will take a while for us to lose, that a defeat comes as late as possible. Here at Barça we can’t afford it.”

On Memphis

“He is a very important player for us. He is also making a difference with the Netherlands team and he is a player who needs to feel involved. We are talking about a player who makes a difference. He can play as the no. 9 and as a winger. We’ll see tomorrow what we do but we need him. He’s one of the team’s scorers and we need him to be happy.”

On Luuk De Jong

“We need all the available players. They all have to be important at Barça and they must be prepared to play. The same goes for Luuk.”

On his father

“My father is a reference in everything. He has instilled everything in me and my brothers. At home we have lived with Barça since we have been conscious. The whole family takes it naturally and we have to face it in the best way possible.”

On the atmosphere of the derby

“From here I want to appeal to our people. We are going to give everything. For the attitude, it will not be an issue. I assure that we are going to give everything. We ask you to help and add. We are Barça and we have to be united. If they are as dedicated as the day of my presentation, that’s good for me.”

On Coutinho

“He is a player who can play in various positions. He has to regain confidence. We have spoken with him and he has to be important. He is a footballer with innate talent and can score goals. Philippe will have opportunities for sure, because he is a footballer that I personally like. He has talent, but we have to recover him emotionally. If everything goes well, he will have minutes.”

On Frenkie De Jong

“Everyone has to be important. We value training and games very much. Each person is different and that is why we want to talk to everyone. Frenkie is a player who has to be very important to us. He has to be reaching the area, scoring goals, breaking pressure lines. He is a footballer who, due to conditions, must make a difference.”

On possible signings

“For now there is no change. Alves is a very important reinforcement for the group and we will see what happens. we talked to Mateu today. There are many days until the market opens. We are in total harmony with Mateu, Jordi Cruyff and the president. We are going to decide.”

On his role as manager of the team

“Now I am the one who has to decide. I think we are going to go well. I am going to give everything so that things go well. I am from Barça and I want things to work out. I am going to leave my life and so on. I am going to pass it on to the players. We owe it to many people and we cannot fail. Attitude, sacrifice and hard work are non negotiable. The fans have to feel proud of the team.”

On Espanyol

“Espanyol is a very good team. Very well worked by Vicente Moreno. They defend well and are supportive. In attack, they have scored many goals and have aerial power. It will be difficult. Vicente has had time to prepare for the game and we are preparing to compete well.”