Tito Vilanova met with media representatives today at his first press conference of the season. The FC Barcelona coach underlined that “improving upon what we’ve done in the past is very difficult. I’m aware of how hard that is, but I’m also aware that people want us to keep on winning. We’re here to try and do it, we want the people to be happy with our work.”
Asked about his vision of the team, he agreed with the previous coach and said that he also prefers to have a smaller squad for the upcoming season. “This forces everyone to be on form and feel important.” He did note that “until the 31st of August there is time to bring in more players and let players go,” and that he’s “counting on all of his players.” The manager said also that “the preseason matches and the players’ performances” will help him to make final decisions about the 2012/13 squad.
As for possible new additions to the team, Vilanova recognized that “it would be great to have a defender that can also play in the pivot role, but if we can’t find anyone we’ll go with a player from the reserve side, that has always worked out well for us.” The manager also noted that Abidal’s illness means that the team have lost a player that played in two positions (left back and center defender) and that the issue would be fixed with the addition of a new player. However, he didn’t want to talk about any particular player. “It’s not the time to talk about specific players. Javi Martínez can play in both of those positions, but it all depends on the Club’s capabilities. In Europe there are 50 or 60 players that can play in both these positions, and if we can’t find one, we’ll go with a reserve-side player.”
“We are not looking for forwards. We don’t need one,” underlined Vilanova, who highlighted the fact that Villa is close to being back to full form after he breaking his leg in December.
The manager also said that he’s pleased with the preseason schedule, “working in Barcelona we know what the climate will be like and what installations we’ll use for training. We also save ourselves a few trips, even though we will travel this preseason. The Club believes that this is the most convenient option.”
Tito was asked many questions about the incident with José Mourinho during the return leg of last year’s Spanish Super Cup. “It’s tiring that we still are talking about what happened with Mourinho after a year. The judge imposed a ban and the president of the Spanish Federation lifted the ban. I accept the decision like an athlete,” said Vilanova. He also recognized that “the punishment isn’t about getting a one, two or a five-match ban. The biggest punishment are the images that show what happened, those won’t be forgotten anytime soon. This is our punishment.” The manager also added that Mourinho greeted him after the match at the Santiago Bernabéu and that he doesn’t believe that he has “a bad relationship” with the Real Madrid manager.
Source: fcbarcelona.cat, Photo credit: JOSEP LAGO/AFP/GettyImages