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"It's absurd to think that we have the advantage"

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Pin Valverde spoke about his team's UCL clash on Tuesday. Twitter/Barcelona_es
Valverde spoke about his team's UCL clash on Tuesday. Twitter/Barcelona_es

"It's absurd to think that we have the advantage"

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 4,218

After Ter Stegen, in the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper appeared in press conference the trainer of Barcelona, Ernesto Valverde. As his goalkeeper, the coach said azulgrana distrust of the result achieved in the first leg.

Valverde began the press conference by stating that he is unaware of what Man United might have in store for the second leg of their UCL clash. "I don't know what approach the opponent might be planning. We have the references of what they are doing in this Champions League. They have won three out of four away games. In the last few minutes they beat Juve and PSG. We have to do our own thing, each team will take the match into their own comfort zone" said the Bacerlona manager.

Barça won 0-1 at Old Trafford, but he has made clear that it means nothing to him. "We got a goal at Old Trafford but it's not a definite result," he replied.

"We can't be speculating. We will try to prevent them from scoring. We can't think we have an advantage. It's absurd," he added.

When asked about Osumane Dembélé's name in the starting eleven, Valverde avoided giving a concrete answer. "It's a possibility. he may start or he may not. The other day he completed 60 minutes. It was less than expected but he said he felt good, from less to more and the idea was that he would be available for this match," he said.

"It's important who starts and who finishes. United has a special relationship with the last few minutes of a match. Here they won a European Cup in injury time", reminded Valverde, about the final in Barcelona that the 'red devils' won against Bayern.

"They're a quality team with great winning spirit and that's why we must show that we're better," he added, regarding the virtues of his rival.

He avoided blaming the calendar for a possible stumble, but did not hide his discomfort. "Calendars are always tight for all teams. I understand the complaint," he said.

"It's absurd for two teams to have eight days between the first leg and the second leg and only six days for two others. It penalizes those of us who play Wednesday and now Tuesday. It is logical for Solskjaer to complain," he continued.

He analyzed what the rival could try agaisnt them on Tuesday. "I understand that they will try to take advantage of their game and  depending on how itgoes,  really push for it if the result is not good. I suppose they will try to do something similar to other fields, where they have done well," he said.

Valverde has also asked for public support. "Before the game, I know they're going to come and push us. I'm just grateful now. We have to try to get the public on our side and we have to connect with them. There's a lot of excitement in this competition and we're one step away from the semi-finals," he continued.

The Spanish Coach also tried to avoid comparisons between his team and United. "You don't have to think things over so much. Sometimes you think about what your opponent is doing and what he can't do and meanwhile you're losing confidence in your own team," he added. "You have to focus on what's good for you and try to do that. We're aware of Manchester United's potential and we can't turn the match into scoring chances for each team. But if there's room to run, they're strong."

Just before his own press conference, it was Ter Stegen who spoke to the media, and Valverde took the opportunity to praise him. "He's a player with a lot of personality. He already had it when I arrived. I was surprised at the mood he has. He gives the team a lot of security. He's still young and we feel supported and at ease," he revealed.

Arturo Vidal is proving to be another pillar of this season's Barcelona. "It's not difficult to keep Arturo plugged in. He's very competitive. He doesn't care if he plays in Old Trafford or Huesca," the coach stated.

"He gives everything and is a guarantee for us. Sometimes he doesn't play at the start, but he plays a lot, either as a first-team player or from the bench. Sometimes a lot of importance is given to the eleven who play but I give a lot to those who finish it off, and in that position Arturo is key" he added regarding the versatile Chilian player. 

He continued assuring that Barça will continue betting on the control of the game, and confirming that Messi is fully recovered from Smalling's blow in the first leg. "He is well, perfectly recovered from the blow. He was fine two days later. During the game he was a bit lost but he's without problems for tomorrow," he explained.

He was them reminded of how it's been since Messi scored in the quarterfinals. "Well, he is closer to scoring now. The statistics are good but it tells you a lot about the past and nothing about the future. We do not know what will happen. It's an incentive for everyone," said Valverde.

He confirmed that the rotations before the Huesca were because of the UCL. "We arrived well. Everyone can interpret what you think the line-ups meant but the other day I understood that, with a short six day margin, it was not enough and we had to change players. It was something I had in mind and after the result against Atlético (2-0) I could do it," he said.

There is no fear of elimination in the team. "There is no fear. There is just a lot of excitement. They are good too," he said, after being questioned about 'the Roma incident'.

"I think that experiences serve us and we are all aware that we expect a very hard duel to pass," he added then, before ending the press conference. 

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