‘Sevilla want to suppress Barca’

Jorge Sampaoli insists Sevilla will not abandon their aggressive style against Barcelona in the Supercopa first leg as “we’ll try to suppress our opponents”.

Sevilla’s fearless approach against Real Madrid in last week’s European Super Cup was noted, despite the Andalusians’ 2-1 defeat in extra time, and Sampaoli says his side are ready to adopt similar tactics when they host Barca on Sunday.

“The best way to defend against a team who have so much of the ball like Barcelona is to have the ball yourself,” the Coach said at a Press conference.

“We must try to have most of the ball in the game. The opportunity we’ll have is to attack when we have the ball.

“I can’t ask the fans for anything. Our obligation is to move the fans closer to the team. If [their support] isn’t there then it’s because the team aren’t doing what [the fans] want.

“[On Barca being favourites], it’s normal. Tuesday it was Real Madrid and now it’s Barcelona. We enter the game with a new team, with many absences.

“It’s normal that Barcelona are the favourites and we’ll show defiance to reverse the situation.

“I don’t know if [Barca] are a mirror for us. I appreciate Barcelona because they’re the only club who have sustained a certain style of play over time, and for this I see them as a mirror.

“[Claudio Bravo and I shared many joys in the Chilean national team. What he did for his country was moving.

“[On Barca’s attack], Luis [Suarez] is complemented by [Lionel] Messi, they know each other’s game by heart and battling with two players of this level will be a challenge for us.

“It’s not a question of being daring but overcoming [Barca’s] submission. It’s normal for them to keep the ball for several minutes and us seeking the counterattack, but teams who do that lose more than they win.

“So, for my personality, we’ll again try to suppress our opponents as we did against Real Madrid.

“We’ve deepened in some specific aspects [from our last match]. We could’ve killed the game, but I won’t condemn the errors we made. I prefer to encourage the team.

“[Luis Enrique] has managed to create a team with personality, with nuances [of ‘tiki-tala’] and allowed them to become the best team in the world.

“All his players compete at the highest level and even against rivals of lower level, and that’s very valuable.

“We’re looking for a goalkeeper because David Soria needs time [to recover from his injury] and we’ll need to sign another.

“[Rodrigo Caio] is one of the centre-backs that I like, but our needs lie elsewhere. After the Supercopa, we’ll reassess the team’s needs.

“[Messi] won’t be any more dangerous for his decision to return to the national. He’s still the best and he can make a difference on any stage.”

Tags Jorge Sampaoli Supercopa