Monday, December 6, 2021

Kiev win would change the mood at Barcelona, says Sergi

SoccerNews in La Liga 1 Nov 2021

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Sergi Barjuan says the Barcelona players can feel the pressure ahead of their crunch Champions League clash with Dynamo Kiev but knows a win will change the tense mood at the club.

A 1-1 home draw in LaLiga against Deportivo Alaves on Saturday did little to lift spirits at Camp Nou following Ronald Koeman’s sacking.

Barca will now travel to Kiev for a crucial contest that will play a huge part in determining their prospects of progression in Europe.

A 1-0 win in the reverse fixture gave Barca their first points in Group E but they still trail Bayern Munich and Benfica with three matches to play.

“The players need to find a way, whatever way they can, to achieve this victory,” said interim head coach Sergi. “The players are under a lot of pressure, Tuesday is special and it depends on them. 

“They have everything in their hands. They need to be organised and be the Barcelona that we want and hope for.

“This is enormous for me too – to be the coach in a Champions League match after being a player. 

“You would ask a thousand coaches and they would want to be in my position. As a cule I wish the best for the club and I am going to try everything I can to solve this situation.

“It is difficult to find a smile in the dressing room in these tough moments but finding our style, being the protagonists and being a team will lead us to joy. Winning on Tuesday would help change the mood.”

Barca have only scored one goal in the Champions League this season, which is their lowest goal tally after three games of a single campaign in the competition’s history.

Sergi added: “The players are used to any scenario and any kind of pressure. We will be better if we play without anxiety, if we are calm with the ball, if we know how to find the spaces. 

“In training we insisted on the need to be organised and be ourselves, to play with the essence of Barca that we want. 

“We need to find a way to achieve this victory and to enjoy it and to bring back some positivity and joy to the fans as well.

“At Barca you always have to win. We can only make ourselves respected by winning. They all know what’s on the table.” 

There was a boost for Sergi as defender Ronald Araujo returning to training on Monday, while Ansu Fati, Frenkie de Jong and Sergi Roberto also took part after knocks.

Forward Ousmane Dembele, who is yet to play this season, was also named in the 23-man squad for the game.

“This game is so important because if we win then our fate is in our own hands once more,” added defender Eric Garcia, who also faced the media. 

“We all know how difficult it will be due to the trip and the weather. At home they made life tricky for us and away will be no different. Nevertheless, the team is ready mentally and physically.

“Frenkie and Ronald are key players for us and Ansu and Ousmane are players who can win games. It’s great news they are back.” 

Having lost 3-0 to Benfica in their last away game, Barca are bidding to avoid losing consecutive matches on the road in the competition for the first time since April 2017.

The last occasion that happened in the group stage was back in September 2014, though Barca are at least on a five-game Champions League winning streak against Dynamo that spans 12 years.

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