Luis Enrique believes Ivan Rakitic’s renewal is “great news” as he is confident Barcelona have come back down to earth after Paris Saint-Germain.
Rakitic’s return to form has been a key factor in Barca’s sudden resurgence, confirmed by Wednesday’s 6-1 demolition of PSG in the Champions League, and Enrique had his say on both topics, as well as Sunday’s La Liga trip to Deportivo La Coruna.
“Depor? Since the change of Coach, they’ve picked up five points in three games, plus we haven’t had time to train,” the Coach said at a Press conference.
“We appreciate the fact that we’ll have time to train this week.
“Confidence of the players after PSG? I trust the wits of my players and the experience to know that everything is still up for grabs. The difficulty will be maximum until the end of season.
“We’ll see how the players are in training who is [best] prepared for the game against Depor. The month of April will be brutal.
“Unity among the players? [Beating PSG] was a stimulus for everyone. I’ve always seen maximum union among my players.
“They’ve been united in good and bad times for as long as I‘ve been here.
“My concerns about Depor? All the resources they can use against us. Everything about our opponents concerns me.
“Positive aspects of the win against PSG? This question will be answered by the results that we pick up in our next few games.
“We prepare for all our matches with the same intensity. We don’t change anything because the prize is always the same, three points.
“We don’t prepare to be at 100 percent for the latter part of the season. We prepare the same for every match.
“The only thing we’re aware of is that nothing has been decided in all competitions. We can still win three trophies or none.
“We’re focused on what we can control, and that is the game against Depor.
“There are many things needed to win. I’ll always do what I think is best for the team, and this can vary. I’m happy with the performances of all the players, including Rafinha.
“Isolating the players from the media frenzy of PSG? It’s something that the players are already used to. They’ve adapted to it.
“Replacement for Aleix Vidal? We’re always open to improving the squad.
”Neymar? It’s clear that he’s a player that has developed a lot. Neymar has maintained a positive development since joining Barca.
“Rakitic’s new deal? He had offers from other teams, so it’s great news, given his numbers and performance levels. He’s a player that is always in search of improvement.”