Luis Enrique warned that his players must not fall into the trap of being over-confident in tomorrow’s Clásico against Real Madrid. The coach spoke to the media about the game on Saturday.
Decisive match: "It’s not any old game because we are facing our eternal rivals and the team who are nearest to us in the table. If we beat them, we collect points and they lose the chance to collect points. Then there is the goal average factor. There are a lot of incentives and it’s a game with special connotations for culés. Havind said that, it won’t be decisive; there will still be 10 games left to play after tomorrow".
Busquets: "He’s not at 100 per cent but he’s ok. He’s fit to play and that’s what counts".
Favorites: "All coaches tend to think that there are no favourites. Both of us have the same objectives and the quality of the players on both sides is out of this world. The home advantage is important because that will give us extra motivation and I hope our supporters get behind us".
Schalke, the turning point for Real Madrid: "I don’t analyse the football aspect of our rivals. There are the defending European champions and we have an opportunity to pull away from them in the league. We will need to put in one of our best performances, be solid at the back and efficient up front".
What are you expecting from Madrid tomorrow? "The same as when we met earlier this season. They’ll have two players pressurizing us and the rest waiting behind them, they’ll have players waiting to hit us on the break, they’ll try to score from set-pieces and by collective moves. We’ll see if we are able to pressurize them as much as we possibly can".
Both coaches in the firing line: "Both of us know what we’ve set ourselves up for and what defeats mean in our profession. Being a coach means you are continually at risk".
Emotionally-charged match: "These meetings are always attractive. I’ve experienced a number of them as the protagonist but as a coach, they are less intense. It requires keeping a cool head, you have to be calculating and adapt to whatever situation happens out on the field. For me, I’m much calmer going into this game than I was when I was a player".
250 games on the bench: "We could celebrate it by you lot inviting me to a drink. What do you think?".
Messi in sensational form: "We’ve seen players at a similar level to him but he reads the game differently, his contribution to the team is different, he is willing to drop back and defend and makes the right choices in attack".
Possibility of repeating the 5-0 win from 2010: "I haven’t heard anyone mention that in the dressing room and nor is it the message that I want to send out. The players aren’t stupid. It’s good to have confidence but we can’t fall into the trap of being over-confident or believing that it’s going to be easy or that the result is done and dusted. We’ll suffer – there’s no doubt about that. We hope that the euphoria helps the team to play well during the delicate moments of the match".
Cristiano’s drop in form: "Any one of the three players they have up front is capable of resolving any game without needing to be in the best moment of form. They are three of the best players in the world in their position. I would never single out one of Real Madrid’s players".