Barcelona

Sergi, ahead of Barcelona debut: "It's time to get down to hard work"

The youth team coach will oversee his first game as caretaker manager at Barcelona against Alavés. He announced tactical and personel changes.

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Sergi, ahead of Barcelona debut: "It's time to get down to hard work"
JOAN M. BASCU DIARIO AS

Sergi Barjuan will oversee his first game in charge of Barcelona against Alavés on Saturday with the aim of getting the team back on track after two successive defeats which culminated in Ronald Koeman losing his job. It won't be an easy task for the former full-back, as he admitted in today's pre-match press conference: “The main thing is getting the players back enjoying football,” he said.

What is your first objective?

Firstly to thank the club for having faith in me and I would also like to take a moment to send a big hug to Koeman. I have little margin for error and we are in a complex situation. But it is easy to work with these players, who play quick football and understand everything. I also want to animate them. It's important that we are united and work together as one - not just the players but the fans as well. The style of play isn't going to change too much but a few tactical concepts will - that's what we are working on and I hope they work”

What does this squad need?

“Happiness, to get back enjoying football. They have already shown what kind of players they are and that they know how to handle pressure. We have to beat Alavés. LaLiga is still open and we cannot lose at home”.

Will there be a shake up?

“Those who know me, know that I strive to be a winner. If the players are the same then sooner or later we will turn this situation around. If I need to shake things up a bit if it is for the benefit of the team, then I will” .

How do you prepare for a game just 48 hours into the job?

“It's difficult, we are in a stressful situation. I have been watching videos of Alavés. They've been improving, they have won their last two games and are in a good dynamic”

How is the squad?

“The team's fine. We have been training alternating intense work with more relaxed moments. We'll be taking it step by step. The style of play won't be touched. It's time to knuckle down to hard work. We have to be more dynamic and look for the ball, if in the end it doesn't go in, there's not much more we can do about it”.

Will Riqui Puig get to play more?

“Everyone who is available will get chances to play, but I have only overseen two training sessions - and both of them have been more like recovery sessions”.

Is Dembélé in the list?

Possibly.

And Ansu Fati?

That's practically impossible. He hasn't trained.

Why do players who have left Barcelona complain that the training sessions lack intensity?

“I don't know what it was like before. I know what I want. My job is to get the best performance levels out of the players in a short space of time. Today, I asked the player for more intensity”.