La Liga news

Roura: Focus on Granada, not Milan

February 16, 2013
By ESPN staff

Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura has urged his players not to get caught up in the hype of next week's Champions League clash with AC Milan and instead focus on taking an important step to claiming this season's La Liga crown by defeating Granada on Saturday.

Barca face their relegation-threatened opponents at the Estadio Los Carmenes hoping to maintain their 12-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid.

Although Wednesday's European fixture may tempt Barca into resting a number of their star players, Roura insists the league will not be sacrificed.

"The key match is on Saturday, we are fully focused on Granada, because the League is a basic target for us," he said. "If we get a positive result then it would be an important step forward. We are focused entirely on Granada.

"We are in comfortable position in the League but that should be no excuse for any kind of relaxation. Will I rest players with Milan in mind? We have said many times that we have a lot of options as far as putting a team together is concerned.

"We're not playing Milan until Wednesday, which gives us plenty of time to recover. We're into the nice part of the season when in a few days there are lots of things at stake. In terms of fitness and morale this is a good moment for us.

"Playing every three days? There are two ways to look at it. Playing Wednesday and Saturday we can say that the team is doing well because they are competing, but a week off also can come in handy. The thing to make clear is that the game with Granada is today our most important."

Although Granada are only six points away from the relegation zone, they have taken three wins from their last four matches - including the significant scalp of Real Madrid - to give manager Lucas Alvaraz hope of survival.

"They have managed to turn things around," Roura said. "They're moving up. And we know all about Lucas Alcaraz's teams, they're always very solid, difficult, strong. They're doing well now and will want to impose their style."