Jordi Roura has conceded that Barcelona’s trip to Malaga in midweek presents them with a first ‘must-win’ game of the season.
La Blaugrana head into the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final in Malaga needing to win, as a result of the 2-2 score from the first leg handing Thursday’s hosts the away goal advantage.
“This is the first ‘must-win’ game we have had this season and we will travel out there with that intention,” reflected assistant Coach Roura, who will again be overseeing management in Tito Vilanova’s absence.
“Everyone is aware of the importance of the shock and we will put the intensity into the game that it deserves. The team always wants to play and we all know the importance of having a good attitude.
“I do not think that they will need a special message from me beforehand. I have no doubt that we will give everything we can to progress.
“There are many conditions that will determine the team. We will see what we decide. We’ve had a lot of time to recover from the Real Sociedad game. All options are still open.
“Each game has its own characteristics. This one will be very complicated. They have many things in their favour, the fans, the score from the first leg and that this game will be played at their ground.
“It is no secret that a perfect pitch benefits us. I hope their pitch will be in good condition, it’ll help them too.
“It's difficult to know how Malaga will approach the game. They are not a team that will go out and defend, they will go for us, but I don't know how Pellegrini is going to plan for the match.
“They've had the same amount of days to rest as us and it's a huge game for them too, the chance to get to the semi-finals.
“Isco and Toulalan didn't play in the Camp Nou and they still got a good result, their second string players will be very strong, without a doubt.”
Barca go into this test off the back of two games without a win.
“The team cannot be blamed for the bad results. The good news is that we have been able to analyse it. In the two games, the team were not found wanting.
“The first half in San Sebastian was first class, as it was against Malaga [last week]. Then both games became difficult for us. The game has not come at a bad time for us.
“It's possible that we could get knocked out, but many things could happen. Right now, looking at how the players are doing and the effort they are putting in, I think we'll qualify, but this is football, and anything can happen.”
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