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Javier Aguirre: “We have to be daring with the ball”

The manager spoke to the media ahead of our clash with FC Barcelona

Javier Aguirre says his side must be brave in possession when facing FC Barcelona this weekend.

Returning from the international break with the hosting of the Catalan side, Aguirre believes preparation heading into the fixture will be one of the keys to getting a result.

“We have been preparing images for the players of how well Barça plays, of the records they have, of the systems and how well Barça defends. They have only conceded one goal in six games. They defend well with the ball, and when they don't have it, they also defend well.

“It’s a team that has taken a step forward in defensive concepts with Xavi. It's very difficult to get their hands on it. They’re very focused without the ball, that's what I see from Barça, beyond the attributes they already have. 

“We are trying to grow from a defensive order. We are trying to grow in that aspect, with Barcelona it is going to be more difficult to have the ball longer than them. It's going to be difficult to take more corners than them. It's going to be difficult to shoot more corners than them, but in our group growth we want to take a step forward. We don't lose so many unnecessary balls.

“From the day against Bilbao to yesterday's training session, there has been an improvement across individual technical aspects: control, passes, shots on goal.

“We have put a lot of emphasis on individual technique. I think we are taking that little step at a personal and collective level. Tomorrow will be difficult, but I hope we are able to be daring with the ball, that we don't get burned by the ball. I hope it doesn't happen tomorrow, and if it does, it will be because of the opponent's virtues, not because of our shortcomings."

With Amath returning to training having undergone surgery on an issue on his foot, Aguirre also assessed the likelihood of our forward featuring against Barcelona.

"There are real possibilities that Amath will come off the bench,” he said. “Surprisingly, he rushed deadlines. The most pessimistic said until after the World Cup; the most optimistic, in which I include myself, said October. Amath is already here. I'm not saying he will be for 90 minutes because I don't think so, but if it's necessary to use him tomorrow and that's the decision of those of us who make the decisions, he'll do so.”