Vilanova: Barca won’t relax

Tito Vilanova has reflected on facing Malaga for a second time inside a week and insists that Barcelona still cannot afford to relax in any game.

La Blaugrana are 18 points clear at the top of the table and head into their first leg Copa del Rey quarter-final with Malaga having just dispatched the same team at the weekend.

Even so, Vilanova has made clear that over-confidence is not an issue at the Camp Nou.

“I do not think we will relax. It is true that we have won the League match and played well. It’s a perfect match for the Champions League,” commented the tactician.

“Malaga have already shown what they are capable of in the Champions League and La Liga. They are a team full of virtue and you can have a red card or go a goal down and everything is more difficult, because it is decided over the two legs.

“It is strange because we are playing them again within three days. There will be changes on both sides but this would not prejudice the way we are going to play. Pellegrini’s teams always play in a similar way too. I think there will not be many differences.

“We are fortunate to have all these players, who have helped us to earn the points that we have so far in the League. Anyone can play. The team will be competitive tomorrow and against Real Sociedad at the weekend too.”

The Coach was asked again if Barca will let up in upcoming games, due to the extensive advantage in the League.

“Every game is important. It is the best way to keep fit. One cannot say who is going to play 80, 90 or 100 per cent. That does not exist. We must try to win every game and if we can increase the distance in the League. Atletico are only 11 points back.

“The gap to Madrid? If the situation was the other way around, I would not be here to answer this question. Madrid can win every game of the second round and we could lose those points.

“We are not talking about there being four games remaining. Many are left to play. I know that things happen and that they happen fast. As I do that when two games are lost, Coaches are less good.”

Vilanova was again asked if this Barcelona side were the best yet.

“When I was asked about this earlier in the season I remembered that the team had been more organised.

“We always have to work a lot more at the beginning. It makes everything more difficult. I am not surprised that we have been coming together better now.”

Tags Vilanova