Madrid, April 27 (IANS) FC Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova confirmed that he intended to continue as the manger of the Spanish football giant for the next season.
“I feel I have the strength and the will to carry on next season, and at no time have a thought about leaving it. When I have three days off, I get bored. This is my life and I don’t feel any pressure,” said Vilanova in a press conference at the Camp Nou Stadium, reports Xinhua.
This was Vilanova’s first press conference since returning from New York at the end of March after receiving two months of treatment for the cancer of the parotid gland, which had originally been diagnosed in late 2011.
Although Vilanova returned to Spain almost a month ago, until this Friday he had preferred to leave press conferences to his assistant Jordi Roura, who had coached the side in his absence, and had not spoken to the press.
“I am very grateful to him, because he has done a great job, the staff here are now better than before I left, because the circumstances have forced them to do more things,” he said.
Vilanova had chosen to speak to the press just three days after his side’s 0-4 defeat away to Bayern Munich in the first leg of their semi-final.
That has seen some commentators hint that the current Barca squad is coming to an end of an era, but the coach rejected that assertion.
“They say that all the time, but in top competition, such as La Liga or the Champions League, it is hard to win all of the time. If we win the league, we will win another title and we will have won four in five years. That is going to be hard to repeat, meanwhile we have reached six consecutive Champions League, so I don’t think it’s the end of an era,” said Vilanova, who sounded an optimistic call for the return leg against Bayern.
“We are Barca and we are playing at home: it is not credible to say we are going to overturn it, but our obligation is to compete and to be able to win. Maybe we can score twice in the first half and you never know what could happen afterwards. Bayern built a great atmosphere with their fans and we want to try and repeat that. I don’t feel like throwing in the towel,” he added.
Vilanova explained he had already begun thinking about next season, saying he knew what he wanted to do and which players he thought could be signed.
“There are always things you can improve. We have had an excellent season,” he insisted, while adding there had been little change in talks over extending his current contact, which expires in June 2014. He also said he didn’t want to discuss which positions he wanted to strengthen at the club, commenting that it would not be good for the morale of any players who could be affected.