Valencia CF27 April 2024

Baraja: “We’ll try to do things right to compete at our best against FC Barcelona"

The Valencia CF coach talks ahead of the Monday fixture against FC Barcelona.

Valencia CF coach Rubén Baraja held a press conference on Saturday, previewing Monday's game against FC Barcelona in LaLiga.

The game against FC Barcelona

It is a special ground for many reasons. There were historic games there when I was a player and we hope it will help us change the streak we have had in Barcelona recently and have a good game. I feel good, calmer, valuing the work we are doing more

  Baraja's 50TH LaLiga game in charge of Valencia CF

I feel good. I feel that in the end it's all an evolution and as time goes by, I feel calmer, I feel more appreciative of all the work we're doing and positive about the game".

One year on from Guerra's goal against Valladolid

Javi's breakout was fantastic, not only because of that goal. After a year he has been growing in the way he plays, and his potential has become a reality. This season he has established himself in the Primera División and been important for us. His growth is due to his effort and commitment. He is very young.

Guillamón or Javi Guerra

“Either of the two alternatives is possible. There have been times when Guillamón has played, others when Guerra has played alongside Pepelu, and there have even been times when the two have played together. They are alternatives that make us competitive and it also depends on the type of match, the moments of the matches can bring us one thing or another and that's good for the team".

 The dressing room        

The response is positive. Mine too, in the sense that we want to try to get as many points as possible in these six games, to try to do things well. Playing against FC Barcelona always makes it very difficult because they subdue you, they have a lot of the ball, quality... we have to be able to keep our concentration, that spirit that the team are having and then the response after a defeat is always important to see how they react to the difficulty. We have always picked ourselves up after a setback and we have always competed. We will try to do things right to compete at our best against FC Barcelona".

The Barça side he expects

I always think that all the teams that play against us will be at their best. I expect a Barça at home, where they are very dominant. We must have a lot of energy to stay in the game and use counterattacks to do damage. Also, we have to do well when we have the ball. I am expecting a good Barça side, even though they are far away from the top of LaLiga now.

A potential European place

We have to continue doing what we do, and if the teams ahead of us do not get positive results, then all the better. All reflections are positive and valuable, but I am only thinking about the Barça game. If we achieve that situation, then things will be discussed. Now they are hypotheses that take away our energy. It is positive to talk about the next game and what it means to win it.

Gayà and Yaremchuk's fitness

They in their own recovery processes. Yaremchuk is starting to pick up intensity and is close to returning. José is too, and we are almost at that point in which will see in which week they can participate and help us in the final stretch of the season.

Barça's biggest threat

They have tremendous quality in every line. Also, they have decisive players who can win the game with a single move, both in terms of starters and substitutes, on both wings and from set pieces. They are a complete team in every line. They are a great team that, at times, transmit youthful energy.

The team's rivals playing first (Fixture Rescheduling)

We are really in that fight to stay alive. Our schedule has been changed inexplicably and I don't quite understand the reason for it. It's something that escapes me, but it is true that in the end we have to focus on what we are capable of doing. It's about being in the fight until the end and playing for it in the last game, carrying along all the excitement of the weekend, but I don't think any results would be definitive at the moment. The important thing is to stay alive and perform at our best, regardless of the results.

Xavi's intensity as Barça coach

I don't know how to answer that. When you are a coach, and even more when you are homegrown, as is the case with me, there are emotions that are difficult to control. Logically, they will have had an influence on his time at Barça. I really understand that there are certain important things you need in order to be in charge of a team, that Xavi didn't feel he had, and now he does. If he decides that he is going to continue, it will be because he sees a project and support for him. The season will not really be fruitful in terms of trophies, but it will be fruitful in terms of consolidating a team. There are emotions that only he will know about, because he is the one who is there every day. I understand any decision he makes and I see him as capable of making any decision, one way or another.

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