Ronald Koeman spoke to reporters on Sunday to discuss Barcelona’s next La Liga match against Real Sociedad.
The Dutch boss spoke about La Real, new president Joan Laporta, Barca’s chances of doing the double and offered an update on Ansu Fati.
Here are the best bits:
Koeman on Real Sociedad
it’s the third time we have played them. They are a strong team and definitely one of the best teams in this competition. They like to pressure you and they were both interesting games, close games, a lot to analyze, it will be a difficult one tomorrow.
Koeman on Laporta backing
After the game in Paris he said I had his full confidence but we have to keep working hard because this can change from night to day especially if the results aren’t good. Right now they are, we must continue this way and hopefully we’ll be able to work together for a long time.
Koeman on Barca doing the double
I don’t like talking about winning the double because everything can change so quickly. A while ago we weren’t getting good results and we were a bad team and now we’re not. We must continue going game by game. There’s always talk. We are entering a difficult stage of the season. We have a Copa del Rey to win against a very difficult side but there’s still a lot of work to do to win these trophies. We have to keep our concentration.
Koeman on if Barca can improve
There’s always room for improvement but we must say that in our last games we have been performing very well, winning lots of points and we had to do that to catch up with Atletico. So we can dream of winning titles but at the moment we must keep working.
Koeman on if it’s a key game
I don’t think it’s a decisive match, or the most decisive match, but being a few points away from the league leaders it’s important to win it. If we don’t then the gap will widen so we must get all three points. But it’s against a very difficult rival and they have a very good manager. They are a top team and it’s a difficult stadium but we must be at our best with and without the ball. It will be an interesting game tactically also.
Koeman on Erling Haaland rumors
I don’t think it’s the moment to talk about a player who is not Barca’s. Out of respect for his club and for our players especially now with the new president, a lot is being talked about next season and signings, but I don’t want to get into that conversation. I want to concentrate on the game, the players we have now, and we will see next season. We will see the areas we can improve. Right now I don’t want to talk about that.
Koeman on if the Copa del Rey final is a distraction for Real Sociedad
No I don’t think so. After tomorrow’s match there’s a break so enough time to prepare for the final that they have against Athletic I don’t think it will influence Real. We expect an intense rival and we know them well.
Koeman on De Jong and Messi one game away from suspension
Knowing they are one yellow card away from suspension, it is was it is (!). I’m not going to speculate, hopefully they will be able to continue and won’t get a yellow card. If they do then we’ll find a replacement despite them being top players and being very important for us.
Koeman on plans for the future
It’s the international break and there will be fewer training sessions so I’ll have time to talk to Laporta. I’ll use that time to talk to the staff, the president, about the team, signings and what’s possible. The objective to get to know each other a bit better.
Koeman on Ansu Fati
It’s true it’s taken a bit longer than we expected in the beginning because he had some issues to start with and that was the reason that it’s taken a bit more time than we expected in the beginning. He’s now working well in the gym, in a few weeks he will start training outside. He's a young player, he needs to come back strong, and that's the most important thing.