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Luis Enrique happy with preseason debut victory: "I liked the team a lot"

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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Barcelona kicked off its United States preseason tour in a victorious way, and the boss is very pleased.

Blaugrana manager Luis Enrique attended the post-match press conference following the 2-1 win over LA Galaxy on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, and he commended his players for the intensity and the hard work, which were truly impressive for such an early fixture on the long season ahead of the Catalan giants. He also commented on the absence of Lionel Messi, the improvements he expects from his side, and more.

Here's a few highlights from his conference:

Expectations met:

"We have shown what we can do. I liked the team a lot. We were intense on the field as I expected. The work from training has come off, above all the work in divided spaces. We played 45 minutes at a good pace."

What did you make of the game?

"For being the first game of the season, after seven days of training with a few double sessions – I am confident. I have seen my players looking good, a good tempo and I am very happy with what I have seen."

Rotations:

"At the start of the season we need to rotate players. We have made up to seven changes. I have seen things that we had done last season and we are still doing them."

Where can the team improve?

"Everywhere. Pressure, moving the ball around. There are things that change every day and we have to work out how to deal with them. I liked the team because we have been intense and we did not commit any serious errors, but we can improve in all areas. Furthermore, it’s the only way for us. Without any doubt, we will be the team to beat and we have to keep so we have to improve on the field. Today we did well but we have to do that again and better. That’s where we are."

Messi’s absence

"The best player in the world needs his rest. A football squad is 24 players and some of them now need to rest."

Do you know anything of the MLS?

"I don’t know that much. I don’t have the chance to follow it because I am immersed in our league and in the European leagues; but, it is clear that football in the United States is improving. A lot of European players are coming here and they can bring a lot of things and ideas that can help them. I have liked what I have seen here. The teams that play against us tend to sit back and defend. The Galaxy have worked hard in defence and that stopped us creating lots of chances."

Ter Stegen

"He hasn’t played because he has only just joined up with us. He has hardly trained so we will see how it goes for the next few games."

Source: FCBarcelona.com