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Koeman talks Pedri, Araujo and Bartomeu ahead of Copa del Rey semi-final

The latest from the Barcelona boss

Sevilla FC v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman spoke to the press on Tuesday ahead of the club’s crunch Copa del Rey semi-final second leg tie against Sevilla at the Camp Nou.

The Dutchman discussed Pedri and Ronald Araujo’s fitness, spoke about the police raids on Monday and also offered his thoughts on the different formations he could play.

Koeman on if Barca can make the final

After the last result our confidence has gone up. We need to play even better than we did on Saturday. So yes we can go through, nothing is impossible.

Koeman on Pedri

Well there’s some things you can’t explain because yesterday afternoon I was pretty surprised he was training by himself but he said he wasn’t feeling any pain. This morning he trained without any problems. We have to wait for tomorrow but we think that yes he could be in the squad.

Koeman on police raids and arrests at Barca

It’s not a good image for the club, it’s not a good look. We have to wait and see what exactly has happened. The only thing we can do is focus on our work which is Sevilla, everything else is out of hands. In terms of image it’s not good.

Koeman on message to fans to believe in a comeback

We know that a 2-0 against us is difficult to overcome but there are options. We have demonstrated for some time now that the team is hungry, and the team is mentally ready to take on difficult tasks. Of course we need more effectiveness than we have shown recently. But we have our chances, we’ve created more opporunities than our opponents. If this happens again then I just hope we can be more efficient and keep a clean sheet which is vital.

Koeman on Xavi being a threat

No, I’m not worried about that. I have a contract. Once we know who the new president is, of course we’ll talk. They will show their plans, but right now we are focused on the game tomorrow which is more important than the presidential debates. We know each has their own story to tell and names will come up. It doesn’t worry me.

Koeman on if it’s a bad time to be at Barca

All clubs go through difficult times. Of course it’s true that many things have happened this season. I think that the technical staff have been working hard and we’re really happy with what they are doing. We are fighting to achieve great things. In the end what matters is what you do on the field, the unity you create in the derssing room. We know the problems we have, we must face them and try to solve them. I will give my maximum to Barca until my last day. It might be one year, five years or a few months. It’s out of my hands, the only thing I try to do is make Barca win.

Koeman on if he has the same motivation

It is the same as when I got here, my motivation. I knew that coming here as a coach during Covid times was going to be difficult, for everything that’s happened. The work of a coach in any club always goes through tough times. If I didn’t want this I would leave, go on holiday, but I want to be here. That’s my job and the job of the new president is to indicate the road to follow.

Koeman on if he’ll play with three center-backs

I think the most important thing of any system is the mentality of the team and to try to press whenever possible and be together when you have to be. For me, that’s the most important thing. It doesn’t really matter if you have three, four or five center-backs in the team. What is important is to work hard, press our opponents. We know we can play well with the ball. We need to be confident in ourselves because in each match we’ve created chances.

Koeman on Araujo

He didn’t train with the group because he still has some nagging injuries. We’ll wait until tomorrow until we can decide if we can count on him or not.

Koeman on if he could play 3-4-3 tomorrow

Of course, it’s possible because playing with three at the back is possible. I think our team, regardless of the system, is a very offensive team. We always create lots of chances. It’s down to the entire team. There are moments in games when we have 6-7 players in the opponents’ final third and that for me is the most important thing.

Koeman on turning the season aound

Of course it’s an important game. If we can make a comeback it would be a big injection of optimism for the future. There are things we have in mind we think we can accomplish but we have to prove it.

Koeman on if he feels bad for Bartomeu

When the news came out the other day of course I was pretty messed up because I know him and Oscar Grau well. So yes I feel bad for them. I shared important moments with them, some very good moments, Bartomeu for me has always been an exceptional person.

Koeman on his future

Right now i haven’t spoken to anyone because I think we need to wait and see who is the new president and get to know his team, their plans, and after that we’ll talk. If I don’t see a clear future for me here then we will have a problem as I only have one more year on my contract.

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