Ronald Koeman has faced the press ahead of Wednesday night’s big La Liga clash against Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou.
The Barcelona boss offered updates on the fitnress of Ousmane Dembele and Ansu Fati, spoke about Riqui Puig’s lack of game time and of course Wednesday’s opponents.
Here are the best bits:
Koeman on Real Sociedad
They are a good team. You can tell they’ve been playing together for a few years. I like how they play. I’m aware we’ll have to play well, with confidence and possession to cause them problems. I think it will be an open match, last year it was open. Both teams want to have the ball and press so I expect a nice, open game.
Koeman on team spirit
I haven’t been with them for long but I see a good atmosphere in the dressing room and in the training sessions, I don’t see a problem between them. Yesterday they had a party at the Ciutat Esportiva after training before Christmas, and the atmosphere is good, there was a lot of noise.
Koeman on Riqui Puig
There is always some interest from the press because he is a homegrown player and he is not playing much. But we’re not talking about just one player not getting minutes, there’s many. We are a strong squad and only 11 can play, based on training and attitude.
Koeman on Frenkie de Jong
He has always been a player with responsibility for build-up play, but he has other qualities to be more attacking as he is very fast with the ball and can break through lines with the ball. We’re working on that with him. We want him to be more important in the final third.
Koeman on Ousmane Dembele
Ousmane is training individually. He is not yet part of the group and I won’t give a return date. Hopefully soon, because he is a player we need.
Koeman on Pjanic
We spoke last week about what needs to improve, I like his attitude, it wouldn’t be good if he was happy. Let him be unhappy and work hard to get opportunities to play.
Koeman on Ansu Fati
With these types of injuries, it is difficult to know when you can return. He’s working hard every day at the club’s facilities to get better, but it depends how he progresses. We can’t take any risks, especially because of his age, there’s plenty of time.
Koeman on Mingueza
Right now he is a first team player, he trains with us, he had some injury issues, but he is providing competition for the centre backs. He is a young player with a future in this team.
Koeman on Messi matching Pele’s record
These are impressive figures, we will not find another player that gives so much to this club, that’s why he is number 1. Once again, everything he has done for this club is incredible.