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Roura: "Tito will be on the bench against Espanyol"

Vilanova, who returned to work last week, "is strong and in good spirits" according to his assistant coach, Jordi Roura.


Roura: "Tito will be on the bench against Espanyol"

Tito Vilanova's assistant coach, Jordi Roura was in the hot seat once again on Saturday as Barcelona gear up for Sunday's derby with Espanyol. Roura told journalists that Tito "is strong and in good spirits" and will take up his place in the dug-out at Camp Nou for Sunday's match.

Tito set to return? "Yes. He's fine, he has surprised everyone. He still has to get over the treatment he is receiving but there is no doubt that he is well, strong and in good spirits and that is the most important thing".

Christmas break: "Every team has their own preparation methods. In our case, we have a packed schedule and that is why we decided to extend the Christmas holidays this year. That way, everyone returns fresh and looking forward to getting back to work whilst knowing that the games we have coming up are going to be very difficult".

Javier Aguirre: "It is always additionally difficult against Espanyol simply because it's a derby. Since Espanyol changed coach, we have had to study their last few games to see what changes he has made regards to his players and their system. They have undergone changes, and since then they are unbeaten so they have benefitted from those changes".

Possible team changes: "The dynamic of the team will remain the same, especially seeing as Tito is now back with us".

Complacency due to the 16-point lead: "It's possible that we could get complacent but our job is to ensure that doesn't happen. Despite being 16 points ahead, we are aware that we haven't achieved anything yet - there is still the second half of the league to play. We will take each game as it comes and try to rack up as many points as we can. The later our first defeat comes, the better. Until then, we will just try to maintain the same rhythm we had before Christmas.

Temporary role: "I am really relaxed and I just try to do the job as naturally as I can. It's a strange situation for me but one I have to accept. Hopefully this will be my last press conference - I hope I can say that I won't be dealing with the press again because Tito is here.

2013 opener - the derby: "Playing Espanyol has always been difficult and added to that it's our first game back after the holidays. That doesn't help. Our objective now is to regain our rhythm after a long break.

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