December 13, 2008

[El Clasico:Barcelona - Real Madrid] Juande Ramos Last Press Conference

Juande Ramos analysed tomorrow's match in Barcelona and said he believes his team has chances of winning the game.

How well prepared for the Barcelona match do you think your team is?
I think the players are very excited about it. You don't need to do much to motivate them. We have to climb positions in the league and we are convinced of our chances to win tomorrow. There's never a clear favourite.

Do you think Sergio Ramos is the 'antidote' for Messi?
Sergio has my total support. I'm sure everyone will do a good job.

Playing with five defenders is a valid possibility because one must use different systems to achieve the goals at hand. What do you think of Barcelona?
There's nothing I can say to highlight how good they are. They are playing very well and we will therefore have to pay attention to several aspects of their game. I think we can manage.

Do you think your team can pull off a draw?
Will Sneijder play?
I only think about winning the match. 'Draw' is a word that doesn't exist in my vocabulary. The doctors are thinking about what to do with Sneijder tomorrow. We miss several players and we must also take good care of the ones we still have.

You won at Camp Nou several years ago with Rayo Vallecano. How did you motivate your men back then?
I really don't remember. All I remember is that there were two or three games left in the season and that nothing was at stake for us, so we won.

Barcelona are clear favourites on all the betting boards...
Then tomorrow is clearly a great day in which to become a millionaire if you bet on us.

What do you know of De la Red's situation?
I've only focused on the technical aspects of the game. I only know I won't be able to count on him. You managed to defeat Barcelona also in the European Super Cup when they were clear favourites... This situation reminds me of that one. Everyone bet on Barça to win, and that greatly motivated us.

Have you started to leave your mark on the team?
It will be more noticeable as time moves on. This is the first day in which we've managed to properly train with the squad. It's normal for the players not to be sure of what I expect of them at this stage.

How's the morale on the squad?
The victory against Zenit has done us a lot of good. My players' confidence is greater than before the clash and we hope it will be even greater next week if we win tomorrow.

What do you think of the job Guardiola is doing as Barcelona's coach?
Guardiola is doing a great job and could begin a new era if he continues to do this well. The team plays excellent football, but their style can be fought with hard work and high levels of concentration. I think we can win tomorow.

What will be the key to winning the game?
The start of the match will be very important. Our confidence could be undermined if we concede an early goal, but I think we can win even if that happens.

You are the boss of six Dutch players...
Good players always have room on any team. They must have done something well in order to be here. They will have to do their best for the Club. I believe Van der Vaart and Sneijder can play together.

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