Ernesto Valverde has faced the press ahead of Barcelona’s clash with Las Palmas, the last fixture before the international break.
The Barca coach stressed the importance of maintaining the club’s winning streak going into the break, and also spoke about a number of players.
Here are the best bits…
Valverde on Las Palmas
“Las Palmas are doing things right despite the change of coach. Its always difficult to play against a team with a new technician.
“There will be a certain element of surprise involved although not much can change in two days.
“But we do have the reference of when Pako coached Valencia to a win here. I’m sure he’ll structure the team around his tastes.
“Las Palmas have plenty of skill and like to play the ball and cause damage through football, and I can see Ayestarán continuing with that.”
Valverde on his squad
“There are 24 players in the squad, I’m really happy with the players I have. When we get to the winter transfer market, perhaps we will talk about restructuring the squad I admit I don’t like squads to be too big.”
Valverde on Deulofeu, Vidal and Sergi Roberto playing on the right
“We’ve made changes because we have lots of options for that position and depending on how different games go I pick different players.
“That’s not to say I will rotate that position all season and it doesn’t imply all the other players are definite starters, it will change as the season progresses.”
Valverde on Semedo
“I’ve often said he’s a very quick player, he can take on strong opponents with guarantees.
“I’ve also got Sergi who can play in that position Aleix Vidal too. I’m, lucky I have lots of players I can pick.
Valverde on keeping up the winning streak
“It’s very important to win going into the international break. The first came very quickly and this one comes after the ninth competitive match. We’ll try to go into it with a full house of wins, which would be a great end to this first stage.
“Winning is always good. What we can not do is lower the guard. It is important not to lose the point of tension.”
Valverde on Messi
“For Messi to surpass Puyol in appearances goes to show what a capacity he has for pulverizing records like this. He’s reached this number at the age of 30 while Puyol was 36, and that’s quite spectacular.”