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Aug 23, 2012

Vilanova not feeling the pressure

New Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova was in relaxed mood as he looked forward to his first clash with Real Madrid in the Spanish Supercopa first leg at Camp Nou.

• Graham Hunter on Supercopa
• Cruyff scoffs at Mourinho nickname
• Mourinho plays down Barca clash

Speaking after training on Wednesday evening Vilanova said he did not feel under any particular personal pressure to get a result in his first Clasico in charge.

"I want to enjoy this profession," Vilanova said. "I know the match is important but I cannot do my work thinking that the sky would fall on me if we did not win. There are things that are more important than tomorrow's game."

On Madrid's last visit to the Camp Nou, they won 2-1 to all but seal last season's Primera Division title. Vilanova said that game was special as Barca had gone into it trailing their rivals in the table and stressed his side would again look to play in their usual attacking style.

"The last games between the teams have been very close," he said. "In that La Liga match we had to take risks, and Madrid have very good counter-attacking players. We're playing at home and the whole world knows how we play when we play at the Camp Nou. Their counter-attack is very strong so we'll have to attentive"

Pep Guardiola's former assistant suggested that the absence of Real centre-half Pepe, who misses out after a clash of heads with goalkeeper Iker Casillas last weekend, could affect how Madrid approach the game.

"I wish the player a quick recovery. He is very quick and that lets them play with a higher line of defence, although only their coaches know how they will play," the new Barca boss admitted.

In response to Jose Mourinho's claim that a team needed to win back-to-back Champions Leagues to have achieved "supremacy", Vilanova pointed to the 14 trophies won (including the last three Supercopas) in the four years he had worked alongside Guardiola.

"This team has done spectacular things," he said. "I don't know if we've established supremacy over the rest, but we've certainly won a lot of titles. We won't be remembered just for the titles we won, but for how we did it. But I respect everyone's opinion, everyone is free to think whatever they want."

Vilanova confirmed that new €19 million signing Alex Song and club captain Carles Puyol were available for selection, and said he had not yet decided whether first choice Victor Valdes or usual Copa keeper Jose Pinto would start in goal.

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