Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Luis Enrique ready for ´special day´, vows not to play for draw

SoccerNews in La Liga 6 Feb 2017

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Luis Enrique called on Barcelona’s fans to be vocal as they look to reach the Copa del Rey final by eliminating Atletico Madrid, and insists his team will not play for a draw.

The Barca boss thinks Tuesday will be a “special day” at Camp Nou as his players look to finish the job they started by claiming a 2-1 semi-final lead in the first leg.

Progression would send the club to a fourth consecutive Copa del Rey final and a third with Luis Enrique as head coach after they won the trophy in each of his first two seasons in charge.

That is a record the 46-year-old is proud of, but he stresses Barca will not be on the defensive even though they hold the advantage.

“It is extremely important,” Luis Enrique said at his pre-match media conference.

“We have our fans there, it is our stadium and the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey. We have a clear advantage and the other team has to score two goals to have a chance and turn around the tie. 

“So they will be obligated to come out more and attack and try to create problems for us. I’m convinced we are going to resolve those situations but we are going to need the support from our fans to go through. 

“It always is vital we get that, but especially now we have the chance to go to a fourth straight final.

“They have to score. The result was good for us in the first leg but we don’t want to go for a draw. We want to come out, score and win the game. Other teams might do something differently, but not us and this approach has always worked for us in every competition. 

“But we are going to suffer for sure and it would be ridiculous to think that it will be easy.

“It is a big challenge, a very attractive one, and I hope we will come out of the tie. It should be a special day for everybody. 

“This is a very attractive tournament for us. We are the team that has won the most Copa del Rey titles. So to be able to win would be a feather in our cap. 

“Of course getting to the final does not mean anything if you don’t win it. But I am very excited to get to the third straight final with me as a coach and our fourth overall if we get past such a great rival like Atletico Madrid.”

Barca are expecting Diego Simeone to employ an unusually attacking strategy as Atletico look to produce a comeback.

Luis Enrique said: “One goal is not good enough for them. At Camp Nou I have always seen Atletico play well, normally back in defence than pressuring up the field, but because of the circumstances we could see them take more risks.

“That is what will be difficult about the game. Beyond the overall result of the semi-final we want to win the game, so it could be a nice match to watch.”

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