Koeman talks Laporta, 8-2, Coutinho, Chelsea ahead of Bayern Munich encounter

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Ahead of Barcelona’s crucial Champions League fixture against Bayern Munich, Ronald Koeman spoke to the press. It will be a big game for the Dutchman as he tried to undo the damage inflicted by the same opposition two years ago.

He began the conference by talking about the quality of the opposition scheduled for Tuesday. He praised the Bavarians and said it would be a difficult game.

“Bayern are a great team, with very experienced players, and it will be a very difficult game, but we have high hopes. We play at home and we will try to get a good result.”

When asked about the changes in the team and how they would affect the side’s dynamics, Koeman said, “There have been major changes in the team and we need time, but football doesn’t give you time.”

A striking topic of the past 24 hours has been the manager’s open criticism of Joan Laporta. Unsurprisingly, he was asked to comment on his relationship with the Barcelona president, to which he said things were good.

“My relationship with the President is good. If there are things we talk because we want the best for the club. There is no problem. We have had little things, that we have talked about, and we agree in every way.”

Koeman then spoke about his belief in youngsters. He said that he always gives opportunities to promising talents as they are the future of the club.

“I’m a coach who gives opportunities to young players and that is what should be understood. I do not know if another coach would do it like me. We are improving things and one of them is that I give opportunities to young players because they are the future of the club.”

The coach also commented on his contract renewal at the club, but he quickly shut down the question saying he did not want to talk about it.

“It is not true that there are conditions for my renewal and I do not want to talk more about my contract. At the moment we are not talking about this issue. Any coach at Barcelona has to win games, even if we are changing things.”

Everyone knows that winning the Champions League is far from probable this season, but the press and the fans wanted to hear it from the coach himself.

“It is something that cannot be answered, tomorrow we will be able to draw conclusions against a rival who aspires to the maximum. Chelsea won last year and surely they were not among the favourites to do so [we cannot make any assumptions].”

The 8-2 thrashing of Barcelona is still fresh in minds of many. The coach was asked to comment on the disastrous outing two years ago.

“The 8-2? It’s been a little over a year since that, the players suffered a lot that night. We have to prepare for the game and be strong as a team. We can hurt Bayern.”

He then proceeded to talk about the tactical aspects of the game, saying that losing the ball in dangerous areas is something the hosts must avoid.

“If we lose balls in dangerous areas, they can hurt us because they are very dangerous and fast. We have to come out well with the ball from behind and try to take advantage of the spaces.”

With Martin Braithwaite also ruled out of the clash, Koeman was asked to give his two cents on the available forward options. He talked about Phillipe Coutinho and Luuk de Jong, saying they both were ready for the clash.

“Coutinho is better every day, what he needs now is to have minutes in the game and take the last step to be with us. Luuk de Jong is physically well.”

Source: BarçaTV+

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