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Koke ready to 'boss' Spain's midfield

Spain
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By ESPN Staff

Rijkaard vows not to walk out of Barcelona

Frank Rijkaard has dismissed all talk of resignation.

The Barcelona coach has come under fire in recent weeks, with his side winning just one of their last seven games in all competitions, culminating in a 3-2 defeat at Real Betis on Saturday.

And while Rijkaard admits it has been difficult coming to terms with his side's latest slip-up, he is confident they will come through their difficulties and show their true colours.

'We cannot waste our time thinking of resignation,' said the Dutchman. 'It was just a defeat and it will not affect me as we have a big game in the Champions League against a good team, away from home, and I hope we can play great again tomorrow.

'The anger of the fans is justifiable - they have the right to be angry - but that could serve as motivation for this game and we will try to show the good side of Barcelona.

'It is our chance to put things in order.'

Rijkaard said he would 'not point the finger' at any individual and claims they are 'working together as a team' to put the disappointment behind them, and quickly.

'I think it is only normal to be down after a defeat and this is a difficult and complicated moment. It is incredible that we lost that game, but this is part of football.

'When you lead away from home 2-0, then you should not lose 3-2 and that has left a bitter taste in the mouth.

'But I am sure my team will find its rhythm and I am convinced that we can dominate any team over 90 minutes.'

Defender Rafael Marquez, who is set to return to the Barcelona defence for the first time in over a month, claims too much has been made of the club's troubles and feels the atmosphere inside the dressing room has not suffered.

He said: 'The team and the club has full confidence in the coach and he has obtained some very good results so he deserves our faith.

'This game is not about being a last chance for us, it is about us being a team and rediscovering the strengths which have always been part of this club in the past.'