Koeman: Playing on an artificial surface is not football for me

The Barcelona coach is not looking forward to the pitch against Cornella this week

| sport

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman is not a fan of playing Thursday's Copa del Rey tie against Cornella on an artificial pitch.

Barça face the Barcelona-based third division side, who beat Atletico Madrid in the last round, in the last 32 of the competition away from hime.

"It's nice to play against a Segunda B side at their ground, that seems perfect to me," Koeman said of the format that rewards the smaller team home advantage.

"The only problem is the artificial pitch, which is not football for me. It depends on the state of the surface, the light and more things. We're not used to it.

"We know there are always surprises in the Copa. It's a complicated game because it's the match of the year for them. We have to approach it seriously and it will depend on the team's mentality."

A few weeks ago, Barça B visited Cornella in the league and managed to win the game, which Koeman was asked about.

"Possibly the younger players in our squad and one or two from the B team are more accustomed to these surfaces," the Dutch coach added.

"It's always hard, the football is different, different boots are needed, the ball goes quicker... you have to prepare, we have to play and we can't use it as an excuse."

Koeman is likely to use young players for the game, with Ilaix Moriba, Alex Collado, Konrad de la Fuente, Oscar Mingueza and Riqui Puig among those who could start.





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