Tito Vilanova: "Caparrós always makes things difficult for us"

The Barça manager has no illusions about the problems his players are going to face in the Iberostar Stadium. In reference to Joaquín Caparrós’s time in charge of Athletic Club, he told reporters, “He was the first coach to put pressure on us in our own half”

Vilanova has ruled out Carles Puyol for the Mallorca game and announced, “We’ll wait another week”

Speaking at Saturday’s press conference, Tito Vilanova revealed that his players were concentrating “on what we did well (against Celtic), on the things we can do better and on preparing the match against Mallorca”. While admitting that Mallorca goes into the match with a lot of injuries, he warned against any complacency: “Caparrós always makes things difficult for us. It’s never an easy place to go. With Athletic Club he was the first coach to put pressure on us in our own half”.

Puyol ruled out

From past experience, Vilanova knows what to expect from Mallorca: “They won’t make it easy for us to build moves. They’ll probably look to put the ball over the top of the defence because they’ve got pace upfront”. Despite returning to training on Friday, Vilanova has ruled out Carles Puyol: “In principle he won’t make the trip to Mallorca. Physically he’s fine but it may be a bit too soon so we’ll wait another week”.

An admired style of play

The midweek defeat to Celtic was also the subject of many of the questions. Vilanova stated that he was “very happy” with the way his team played. “The other day we had 97% of the possession in the second half. If that’s not enough…We had the possession and a lot of chances. We always want to have possession, to try and attack and score. That’s the way we play. The way the team plays suits them. A choice was made about how to try and win. Barça is admired for the way we play, something that can’t be said by many teams”.

He also emphasised that this was not a new experience: “We’ve seen 50 or 60 matches like the one against Celtic, but the thing is Barça has won 95% of them so nothing’s been said”. Finally, he denied any kind of problem between Villa and Messi: “I know what relationship I see, and it’s a very good one. They get on very well together. Calling for the ball is the most normal thing in a match”.