Sergi Barjuan faced the press as interim coach of Barcelona for, presumably, the last time on Friday to talk about his team’s trip to Celta Vigo.
The 49-year-old spoke about Saturday’s opposition, Ousmane Dembele’s fitness and also offered his thoughts on Xavi.
Here are the best bits:
Barjuan on Celta Vigo
It’s going to be a different kind of game [to Kiev]. We know that they are going to press us a lot. We are aware that perhaps the press will be different to Kiev. the priority of Barca is to have the ball.
Barjuan on what he’ll tell Xavi
Al Sadd has made it official but Barca hasn’t yet so we have to wait until it’s official from both sides. I have a good relationship with Xavi, we speak freely and we help each other. When everything is official I will be happy to continue helping the club.
Barjuan on if Xavi is the best option
That question is more for the club. I’m the manager here and I’m trying to do the best to give the team everything they need to play at the highest level.
Barjuan on Ousmane Dembele
When you assume the position I did a few weeks ago you have to make decisions. I decided that Dembele would play. He came back, he trained with us, he looked good in training. If he wasn’t injured today, no one would say anything. Football has these risks.
Barjuan on Celta being his last game
It’s very special but I knew the situation, they asked me if I was ready and capable of doing it. I knew there was an expiration date. It’s a difficult stadium to play in, but I’m convinced if we play like we did in Kiev, are united as a team, then things will be positive. When you get a special gift like this it’s hard to let go of it, but that’s the situation.
Barjuan on his time with the team
You try to give continuity to what you know. Obviously after a win they are a lot happier, better prepared to face these challenges. Today we tried to have fun, I saw a lot of players in a good mood, laughing with each other. It’s great to create unity.
Barjuan on what’s next
I’m going to go back to Barca B. I’ve been enjoying every moment. I’ve just tried to be honest and sincere, not just now but also with the B team. I try to be very transparent and just be myself and have that communication and be close to the players, that’s my style.
Barjuan on the future of the team
I think the players, the place where they do their talking is on the pitch. They are really good players, hopefully there will be some calmness now. There is a team to fight and be higher in La Liga and qualify for the Champions League. We must maintain this positive dynamic.
Barjuan on if he wants to be manager inthe future
No, I never thought about that. I just think about giving the best to the players and giving the best to myself. I’ve never done things thinking about the future. I always live in the present. in these moments you ask yourself what you can do to improve things. I have enjoyed it a lot.