Ronald Koeman has been talking about his team ahead of Barcelona’s Copa del Rey clash with Cornella on Thursday.
The Barcelona boss faced reporters ahead of the match and discussed Lionel Messi’s ban, youngsters Alex Collado and Francisco Trincao and the Super Cup final defeat.
Here are the best bits:
Koeman on Cornella
We know there are surprises in the Copa del Rey, it’s a Segunda Division B team playing at home on an artificial surface, we are not used to that. It’s a complicated match, for them it’s the game of the year, for us it’s the next game. We will prepare with seriousness, we have to get through this knockout stage because we’re Barca, but yes it’s a tough match and it depends a lot on the team’s attitude.
Koeman on Messi ban
I was told by the club it’s two games, the club does not agree, we’ll see what happens. There are things that can be defended, but this is a club issue. I hope the suspension is reduced but if not we’ll play two games without Leo.
Koeman on Super Cup defeat
We are really down, that’s the way it has to be because we had the cup right there for the taking but we gave up a goal in the last minute. We don’t have a lot of time to get down on ourselves. We are doing well in La Liga, played well the last few games away from home. Regarding the game tomorrow we have some players with minor injuries, we’ve played a lot of minutes at the Super Cup. There will be some players not available tomorrow and we’ll see who we have tomorrow to face a strong team in Cornella.
Koeman on PSG wanting Messi
If you ask me if I’m interested in Neymar or Mbappe I’ll say yes. It’s the same thing. You don’t know what will happen in the future. Everyone has their opinion. We need to try and have the best team possible.
Koeman on Alex Collado
He’s a player for the future. He’s a forward who can play on the wing, he has the skills to move up to the first team. He’s had to deal with a few injuries. He’s played several games in a row now and is improving. He’s been training, we’ll see if he’s in the squad list. We always look to the B team to see if players for the future can move up and have a chance.
Koeman on Trincao
Francisco came from Braga, He’s young, just 20, and to make a step to a club like Barca is a huge step for any player from outside. We don’t have to rush these things. He’s working hard, trying to get minutes, I think he’s on the right path. He hasn’t played a lot recently but there’s a lot of competition. He’s a player we are counting on for the future of this club.
Koeman on Pjanic
He hasn’t played a lot recently, we’ve played a bit of a different system. Due to the games and performances we’ve decided on Busquets, De Jong and Pedri. I know he has to work hard to change the situation. Like any player who hasn’t played much recently he will get minutes to show what we can do. There’s always competition in big clubs like ours.
Koeman on Messi fitness
He trained fine without problems this morning. He came from playing 120 minutes and I think he’s doing OK. We’ll see how many games in the end his sanction will be.
Koeman on whether Neto will play
I haven’t made all the decisions yet. We have another training session tomorrow.