Vilanova to continue at Barca

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has confirmed he will continue in his job next season.

Last Updated: 26/04/13 at 18:24 Post Comment

Tito Vilanova: Wants to carry on as Barca boss

Tito Vilanova: Wants to carry on as Barca boss

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Speaking to the media for the first time since returning to Spain from a 10-week stint in New York where he underwent treatment for cancer, an upbeat Vilanova said he "felt strong" and wanted to carry on working.

"I feel strong and, health permitting, I'm looking forward to continuing in the job," he said

"I feel well after all that I've been through. I didn't come back any earlier because there were some side effects.

"But I'm feeling better with every day and I was really looking forward to returning here."

Vilanova had chemotherapy and radiotherapy in the United States following surgery on his parotid gland in December.

The 44-year-old had suffered a relapse after first having a tumour removed from his throat in November 2011.

Assistant Jordi Roura and Aureli Altimira have looked after the first-team in his absence and Vilanova praised them for doing "an exemplary job".

"In any other place this situation of not having a manager would have been a big problem," he said.

And he never had any thoughts of stepping down.

"There were problems due to the distance. But in New York, my day-to-day life was generally good and I was able to keep in contact with the team thanks to new technologies," he added.

"If ever I get two days off, I don't know what to do. This job is not a burden to me and the doctors told me that the best thing I could do was to work."

Barcelona look set to go out of the Champions League after their 4-0 semi-final first-leg defeat to Bayern Munich on Tuesday night, but can win back the Primera Division title from Real Madrid this weekend.

And Vilanova reckons his players deserve praise for how they have coped.

"The club's work-rate and commitment has been extraordinary, we should be pleased with these players for managing to hold their place in the league and reach the Champions League semi-finals for the sixth year running," he added.

On the Bayern tie, Vilanova said all was not lost.

"Bayern truly did come into the game on spectacular form and, although we didn't play badly, we weren't at our best," he said.

"But 4-0 was not a fair reflection. But we are Barca and it is our obligation to go out in front of our fans and show them what we are made of, to compete and try to win.

"We'll see what happens. We have to play confidently. I know it will be difficult, but I'm not throwing the towel in."


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