Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman faced the press on Saturday to talk about his team’s trip to the Estadio de la Cerámica to face Villarreal next in La Liga.
The Dutchman discussed his own future at the Camp Nou, the club’s injury problems and offered his thoughts on the title race.
Here are the best bits:
Koeman on Villarreal
Villarreal play very good football, they have very dangerous players up top and it will be a very interesting game. They play football very well with top-quality players and they are proving to be a strong team in Europe.
Koeman on the run-in
We know we have seven games to go. For us it is the same as for the other three and the important thing is to win. If you don’t win, they will have less chance of winning the league, and this is crystal clear.
Koeman on Dembele, Coutinho and Ansu
All the players called up have options to play. Coutinho and Ansu have been injured for longer than originally thought and I can’t say if they will play again this season.
Koeman on his future
The president from the first day has shown his support and confidence in me. Until the opposite happens then I’ll say the same thing. So, in principle, I see myself as the coach for next season. I have a contract as well. If that’s not the case, we need to talk.
Koeman on title rivals
I don’t see any of the title contenders stronger than the others. Atlético, Madrid and Sevilla are winning a lot of games. The advantage is that we have a game against Atlético and we can beat them and they us. It will be a fight until the last day.
Koeman on Dembele
He is an important player for us because he has a different profile. He can dribble, shoot with both feet ... If he’s in the squad, it’s better.
Koeman on fatigue
The players have played a lot, but we’re recovering well and are always in good shape to start the matches. Sometimes there isn’t much rest, but we have to accept the kick off times. We need to accept it and recover.