Vilanova: Celtic will play on counter

Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova has outlined his respect for Celtic and his desire to start conceding less goals.

Matchday three in the Champions League sees Barca take on Group G surprise package Celtic, the Scots having collected four points already with a 0-0 draw against Benfica and a shock 3-2 win over Spartak Moscow in Russia.

“All Champions League games are complicated,” Vilanova said at the official pre-match Press conference. “It's likely that Celtic will defend and look to counter. Maybe people didn't take them seriously at the start of the season, but we do. Celtic are very quick and good on the counterattack, so we have to take them seriously.”

The Blaugrana are unbeaten in La Liga and the Champions League under Vilanova but the former assistant Coach admitted he is concerned by the amount of goals being shipped. He did not welcome the suggestion that youngster Marc Bartra holds the answer however.

“You always want to score more and concede less. We're working hard to achieve both. Three own goals isn't normal.

“Time for Bartra? I'm responsible for the line-up. You're asking more about Bartra than [Martin] Montoya, who's been doing excellently.”

Vilanova reiterated his faith in Alex Song and in Victor Valdes, after the 'keeper's blunder in Saturday' 5-4 win at Deportivo La Coruna.

“Song can play two positions well. He played a good game against Deportivo.

“I didn't speak with Valdes and I'm not worried. You can't have any doubts, seeing the games and trophies he has won for us.”

The 44-year-old was also asked about Lionel Messi and the Ballon d'Or, and the club's youth policy.

“There's no need for me to campaign for Messi, people see in every game. He does things that no one else does.

“Since Johan Cruff and Carly Rexach its been our philosophy to give chances to academy players. We often play with nine, I'd like it to be 11.”

Tags Celtic Messi Song Vilanova