Ronald Koeman faced the press on Saturday to talk about Barcelona’s next La Liga match against Athletic at the Camp Nou.
The Barca boss was asked lots of questions about Eric Garcia, offered an update on Sergi Roberto and also talked about defenders Samuel Umtiti, Oscar Mingueza and Jean-Clair Todibo.
Here are the best bits:
Koeman on Athletic
We’ve talked about the game in the final of the Super Cup which they won. We know they are a very physically strong team, are strong at set-pieces, perform well at those types of plays. We need to be focused. We have to play our style, we create chances when we do that.
Koeman on leaked list of unwanted players
It’s always important to have someone at the club who’s working on improving the team. that’s normal. It doesn’t bother me because it’s a job that the club has to do. I don’t think the players should be bothered. We speak with the players daily, players get minutes and things like this happen at every club.
My job is to prepare the team for our matches and move forward. Ramon Planes' job is to try and improve our team. I don't know exactly what happened. The only thing I’m interested in is the match tomorrow.
Koeman on Umtiti & Mingueza
A Barca player always has to be prepared for everything. Umtiti has been out for some time because of injury. I think he’s recovered well and we are counting on him. We’ve had Mingueza for some games, he’s come up, playing at right-back and center-back. We’ll see what happens in the future.
Koeman on Eric Garcia
I have said before. This is a season where we are making changes. We are opting for young players. Today Barca are not quite there to win everything. We are battling, we are improving, but we also have to be realistic from where we’ve come, what we’ve done and the young players improving.
Koeman on winning trophies
We know our situation in La Liga. There’s a pretty big difference in points, it’s going to be tough, but until it’s mathematically impossible we just have to win our games. Regarding the Champions League, I don’t think there’s a clear favorite. We know we have two matches against PSG and we will try to go through. That’s our job.
Koeman on Barca’s schedule
It would have been good to play at home in the Copa del Rey. Barca is the most important team in most competitions and they want to find a time where everyone can see the game on TV. It’s not worth complaining anymore. There hasn’t been any change and we have to accept it and play the game.
Koeman on if he’s spoken to Pep about Eric Garcia
I spoke to Pep to congratulate him on his 50th birthday but we haven’t spoken about Eric, it’s not my job. We already know he will probably arrive in the summer. If it’s not possible this January, then we’ll accept it and move on.
Koeman on Sergi Roberto
I’ve seen him motivated, ready for tomorrow’s game, he could be in the squad list. We’ll see the list tomorrow and then you will see.
Koeman on if Todibo could return
I’ve said before Todibo is a Barca player technically but I’m not counting on him.
Koeman on Barca’s defense vs Athletic
We have to defend well. It’s part of their style to look for fouls. The referee is important because they have to decide and one of the plays last time there was no foul. We have to talk to our defenders and midfielder about not making unnecessary fouls so they can take advantage from set-pieces.