Vilanova: My image not reinforced

Barcelona Coach Tito Vilanova is adamant that his image as Coach has not been reinforced by the fact his much-changed side breezed past Getafe on Saturday.

Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano and Dani Alves all started on the bench for La Blaugrana, who ran out 4-1 winners in Madrid, at a ground they lost at last year.

“I do not think my image is reinforced nor has it emerged stronger,” retorted the 42-year-old tactician, though.

“It does not worry me anyway, all I worry about is the fact we won the game and improved from the previous game. I won’t approach this issue.

“We controlled the game at all times and we were very patient. We could have scored even more, but at the end of the day it was a great performance.”

Vilanova was asked why a number of first-team players were only named on the bench.

“The thinking behind the changes was in picking the freshest players. I spoke to Messi to say that he would be a substitute.”

The former midfielder was content with his players’ combined efforts in dealing with the changes and still dominating a lacklustre Getafe.

The only negative from the night is the news that captain Carles Puyol could be out for between 4-6 weeks after picking up a muscle injury, with Vilanova stressing how vital the centre back is to the team.

“Puyol is very important and I hope he recovers soon, he has always has injury problems stemming from his power.” 

Thiago Alcantara, returning from injury issues, and Cesc Fabregas, suffering from poor form recently, both impressed and received plaudits from Vilanova.

“No wonder Thiago played this well as I consistently see him do it in practice. Cesc also had an excellent game in midfield.”

Tags Messi Vilanova