Vilanova settling in to new role

New Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova is still coming to terms with life at the club without Pep Guardiola.

Last Updated: 18/07/12 at 11:00 Post Comment

Vilanova: Preparing for first season in charge

Vilanova: Preparing for first season in charge

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

New Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova is still coming to terms with life without Pep Guardiola but is warming to the reality of leading the Catalans this season.

Vilanova was Guardiola's assistant throughout a trophy-laden four-year period in charge and, after reuniting with his players who were not on international duty this summer, he is looking forward to incorporating those involved in the European Championships in the coming weeks.

He told AS: "Guardiola and I spent five years together and the first day seems strange, but we have to get used to it because this is what we will encounter all season.

"In these days I have tried to rest a lot. I have had conversations with some players during this time because I am interested in their development and yesterday was when we spoke clearly. However, the more extensive talk will happen when everyone returns."

The 42-year-old's first major challenge will be to overcome Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup next month.

Vilanova will be able to watch both matches from the touchline after his one-game ban and Jose Mourinho's two-match suspension from last year's preliminary to the season were overturned.

The Barca boss, however, still feels television evidence showing Mourinho poking him in the eye will have a lasting effect on the football-supporting public.

"After a year we are still speaking about the Super Cup with Mourinho and I am tired of it," he said.

"The only judge fixed a sanction and then relieved it as a measure of grace, which I accepted. The punishment they give us is not one game or two, the biggest punishment are the images that will be seen for many years to come."

The former Mallorca player also stressed the importance of maintaining a harmonious squad despite the loss of key players like Seydou Keita, who joined Chinese club Dalian Aerbin last week, and ill defender Eric Abidal who visited his team-mates on Tuesday but is still some way off a return to first-team action.

"The pre-season will decide the size of our squad," Vilanova added.

"We have a reduced squad and they will all feel useful. I like this possibility. We can see how the players are accepted or in some cases sent to stay in Barca B.

"It is not usual that a player like Keita leaves Barcelona. With him, he covered two positions, and with Abidal, out with illness, two more positions. If we can find a player that can play at centre-back and full-back then perfect. If not, then we will try home-grown players."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

A

ll he wants are sharks with frickin lazers on their heads. Is that too much to ask?

mufc phil
Bomb threat on FIFA D-day

W

hy is the dinosaur trying to hold on to this.... Just leave... No one wants you in this position you corrupt loser. Let someone else take over....

arsenal121
Defiant Sepp blames minority

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

Footer 365

Craig Cathcart out to build on a special 12 months

Northern Ireland and Watford defender Craig Cathcart wants to build on a memorable year for club and country.

Tim Sherwood defends Arsene Wenger's record at Arsenal

Tim Sherwood has praised Arsene Wenger's Arsenal record ahead of the FA Cup final after past criticism of the Frenchman.

Arsene Wenger keen to focus on future ahead of FA Cup final

Arsene Wenger will continue to look to the future, rather than reflect on past glories, if Arsenal can win his sixth FA Cup.

Mail Box

Players Must Stand Up For Qatar Boycott

Players, not bureaucrats, hold the key to boycotting Qatar. Also in the afternoon mailbox: Wenger is right to rotate, Zlatan can dribble, and it's Barca v Ajax in the budget final...

What Would You Do If You Were Blatter?

Step into Sepp's shoes, is the invitation from one mailboxer. Also: United already have their new number one, Rodgers deserves time, and the best Budget XI so far...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company