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Roura, Barca look to bounce back

Jordi Roura has called on Barcelona to move on from their defeat to AC Milan, and insisted the team still deserve “credit, trust and respect”.

Jordi Roura has called on Barcelona to move on from their defeat to AC Milan, and insisted the team still deserve “credit, trust and respect”.

Barca were beaten 2-0 by Serie A side Milan in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16, with the La Liga leaders criticised for their lacklustre display at San Siro.

However, assistant coach Roura feels the players deserve considerable credit for their accomplishments in recent seasons, and believes they will bounce back swiftly from this disappointment.

Next up is a home match with Sevilla in La Liga.

“We must turn the page after San Siro,” Roura said.

“Xavi (Hernandez) said we did not know how to compete, but I think it was because we lacked a little more confidence. We will talk of Milan ahead of the return leg.

“It is normal the players are angry and sad, because the result is not favourable and they know it. They have been self-critical, which is logical and normal.

“We have lost matches before and we will lose again before the end of the season, but what makes the difference is the reaction that comes after. I’m convinced that we will return at a good level.

“I’ve always said we must differentiate between competitions, now we have the league and for us this is simple. It’s a very important game for us to recover our senses.

“If right now there is a team that deserves credit, trust and respect, it is this one.

“I always think the players play to their limit, with a maximum intensity, and we have shown this not just this year, but for a long time. Saturday will be no exception.”

Roura praised Sevilla’s improvement since appointing former Valencia coach Unai Emery in January and knows the visitors could choose to try and shut down their hosts at Camp Nou.

“(Unai) Emery has made the team into a very competitive package,” he said.

“I don’t know if they will try to imitate Milan, but that will be their decision.

“For us, it is essential that the fans come to the game to support us, particularly in these types of games. I ask everyone to come to the game, because it will be important.”

Barca are still without the services of Tito Vilanova as the head coach undergoes treatment for cancer, although fullback Eric Abidal and striker David Villa are due to return to action soon.

“We always notice Tito’s absence. We just try to minimise it,” he said.

“Abidal’s recovery is good for him and for the club, but on a sporting level, we have regained a very important player for our squad.

“The process will be longer, because this is not a common injury. We will decide based on how he progresses physically.

“Villa didn’t travel with us in order to regain his fitness, he is feeling very good. He will be with us, and we will have another option for the team.”

Fri 22 February, 2013
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