Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has faced the press ahead of Sunday’s trip to struggling Almeria in La Liga.
The coach spoke about the defeat to Manchester United, offered fitness updates on several players and shared his thoughts on Sunday’s opponents.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on Almeria
They are strong at home. They have quick and potent players. They have won a lot of points in their stadium. After the loss against Girona, maybe they will be a bit more defensive. They are a difficult opponent, especially at home.
Xavi on one eye on Real Madrid
We depend on these games and these points. We can’t think about Thursday. Tomorrow it’s the league, we want to win it, so tomorrow there are three vital points up for grabs. We will think about Thursday afterwards.
Xavi on Ousmane Dembele
He’s good. Yesterday he trained with us. He seems in good form. He’s not 100% yet but he’s just about ready to come back with the group. It depends on how he feels as well. We can’t force it. We trust in his judgement to announce his return, but he’s doing good so far and that’s important.
Xavi on Ansu and Araujo
Araujo is 100% and Ansu got knocked up a bit in training yesterday. I don’t expect him to play tomorrow but Thursday he’ll be ready.
Xavi on loss to Man Utd
The message is life goes on. We have other objectives. The biggest disappointment was going out of the Champions League to be honest. This one hurts too but we still have the league and the cup and it’s essential for us to finish the season in the best way possible.
Xavi on Lewandowski
He’s good. He conscious of the fact that this is a process with mid to long-term objectives. He decided to come here last year and I think now we are much more competitive than when he arrived. We have won one title so far. He is conscious that we can compete with the best. Robert is now focused on wining the league and the cup.
Xavi on Barcelona’s second halves
I don’t think we need to generalise. We lost against United. In the second half our concentration levels dipped and we need to control these little details. That’s what we are missing.
Xavi on Ferran Torres
I think there has been a change, a switch in mentality. The other game at home helped him gain confidence, which he still needed to make a difference. The other day it went very well and he will be important in the next games.
Xavi on Lewandowski
I think he participates a lot. He comes down to receive the ball, he links with other players. We need to look for him more in the 18-year-old box. I think we are missing that final pass towards him in the penalty area.
Xavi on Sergi Roberto
He can adapt both to the left and to the right. He played a good game the other day. We found him between the lines. In the second half we suffered because we didn’t have as much possession.