Luis Enrique has made it clear that Barcelona will not hold back when they face Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday.
The Catalans are in the driving seat to reach the final in Berlin as they lead the Bundesliga champions 3-0 from the first leg, but the Coach is refusing to let complacency creep into his players’ psyche ahead of the Allianz Arena showdown.
“If [Pep] Guardiola says [we’re the best counterattacking team left in the Champions League] then that’s fantastic and I treat it as a compliment,” he said at a Press conference.
“We’re not interested in a crazy game. We prefer to have the ball, hit [Bayern] on the break and, at some point, attack spaces and use them to hurt [Bayern].
“I’m only concerned about helping my players reach the final. We’ll see if we deserve to do so.
“[On Barca’s approach to the game], you have to be coordinated. If you only attack or only defend, you won’t win. We need do both, so it’s a question of balance.
“[A Champions League semi-final] can sometimes calm a player down. We’ll discuss how we can hurt [Bayern] and resolve the tie.
“[On whether Bayern are wounded], they came back from behind in the quarter-finals [against Porto].
“We know what they’re capable of, so we must be prepared to suffer. The match will be similar to the first leg, with few chances for and against.
“We come into the match in very good form, but we’ll be away from home, where it’s always more difficult.
“Our motivation has to be ideal. That’s the key to any match. Sometimes you have to give the players an incentive, but that’s not the case in this match.
“In games like this, you have to build confidence in the group and [as a Coach] remain calm.
“[Ivan Rakitic] has become a key player for us on both a physical and tactical level. He can pair up with any of our other midfielders.
“[Our approach] depends on whether they score, but if we score then we close in on our objective [of reaching the final].
“Still, we know they’ll create problems for us on both a collective and individual level. We’ll need to raise our game for the victory.
“At the moment, I’m facing an even bigger night, but that’s still pending. Hopefully I sleep well tonight.
“Luis [Suarez] joined us because we sought to create a powerful frontline. Along with Pedro, [the MSN] give us everything we need in attack and defence, where we also need them.
“We prepare for games regardless of the previous result. Barca never speculate. The match will be great because both teams will be looking for the win.
“I’ve never spoken about the fans [as bandwagon-jumpers]. The Press, yes. Whatever the Press say doesn’t interest me. I’ll only be judged by results.
“[On whether he’ll still be at Barca next season], no comment. I’m not interested in discussing that before a Champions League semi-final.”