Barça boss Koeman's message for the dressing room before the Clasico

Barça boss Koeman's message for the dressing room before the Clasico

| sport

The Dutchman urged his players to focus on themselves, not the occasion

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman spoke to the media on Friday from the home of SEAT ahead of the Clasico against Real Madrid this weekend.

Barça have been boosted by the return to fitness of Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto but are still without Neto, Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho.

It remains to be seen if Koeman will stick with the 3-4-2-1 that has served Barça well in recent weeks and, above all, who he will pick, keeping in mind Frenke de Jong could return to midfield.

Asked by SPORT about how the team have evolved since the Clasico defeat in October, Koeman took advantage of the question to send a message to his players.

"In certain aspects, the team has improved," he said. "In the period of the first Clasico, the team was good. I remember we were better, above all before half time and had chances to take the lead. We lost the game in the second half, the VAR, the penalty...

"I think we've improved things, but it's not true that we were poor then and now we're much better. We are more effective now and we've improved in defence, the system can also change.

"The team has run into good form, playing with a lot of energy and that's what I ask for tomorrow. Not to go crazy because it's the Clasico or it's Madrid, but to be ourselves. That's the message from me. The opposition are a good team but we have to do things our way, as we have done recently." 


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