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Cesc: "We can’t feel sorry for ourselves with Messi out"

Cesc: "We can’t feel sorry for ourselves with Messi out"

Cesc Fàbregas spoke before Tuesday's Champions League match against Celtic.

Cesc Fàbregas was the Barcelona player picked to do the pre-match press conference duties before tomorrow’s Celtic – Barcelona Champions League clash at Celtic Park:

Beaten here last year:

We learnt our lesson. What Celtic did then is what they’ll do tomorrow, try to take advantage of the few chances they have. We shouldn’t give away fouls out on the wings or concede corners. Coming here is always difficult, the atmosphere is incredible.

Messi:

He’s the best player in the world and we’ll miss his talent. He makes a difference. We’ve got players who are good enough to win the match. It’ll be a test playing without him. But we can’t feel sorry for ourselves because he’s out injured, even though he provides goals, assists...

Preparation for the game:

We’ve thought about how we want to play against them. It’s more than just thinking about the details, like how they’ll come at us on the counter; we need to control the game. We need to find the killer blow we were missing last year.

False number nine:

If the gaffer chooses then I’ll have more responsibility up front. I’m ready to play where he puts me. I always try and do my best no matter where I play.

Anxious to get revenge:

Barça is bigger than any of that. We’re not thinking about what happened last year. The result is what’s important but we didn’t play badly. We lost because of small details and that’s what we need to learn from. When Leo isn’t available we all need to step up.

Fans:

Some people will always criticise you. A footballer needs to focus on himself. I know what the coach wants and I’m confident. We’ve got a great squad and I try to do my best for the team. The foundation of everything is to keep getting better, little by little. Last year, in the last four months I wasn’t at the top of my game. What I need to do is be consistent.

Neymar:

He’s got so much talent and he’s like lightning in tight spaces. He’s a star, but in the future he’s going to be even bigger. He’s got the world at his feet and we’ll see how he develops. It’s a tough game to face the challenge of replacing Messi, but if anyone is ready to do it then it’s Neymar. Pressure doesn’t affect him. I think he’s ready mentally. We really need the wide players.

Tata Martino:

He seems very rational and he knows a lot about football. He sets out his ideas in a firm but easy way. The dressing room are fully behind him. There are some little details that he’s working on so that things are more fluid on the pitch. In the next few games we’ll see the Barça we want. So far we’ve only seen it in spells, some shorter, some longer. Let’s see if in Glasgow we see the real deal. I don’t like to compare people. Pep gave me a lot of useful advice, like about surprising from the second line; Tito asked me to have more control and Martino has had me playing in three positions where I feel really comfortable.

Lennon:

“He’s like a Scottish Cholo Simeone, battle-hardened, direct...” [slight geographical mistake there from Cesc, Lennon is in fact Northern Irish]

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