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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb, 21, 2010

Guardiola hoping for more from returning Henry

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola was happy to see Thierry Henry return to the side with a goal in Saturday's 4-0 win at home to Racing Santander and believes the Frenchman has much more to offer the Catalan side.

Barcelona 4-0 Racing Santander

Henry has been frozen out in recent weeks but was included from the start in Barca's three-pronged attack and marked his comeback with a goal, as his first-half free-kick found its way through a suspect Racing wall on its way to the back of the net.

It was only his third of the season in what has been a disappointing campaign for the former Arsenal striker, and Guardiola hopes it will motivate the player to score many more.

"Let's hope it inspires him to score more and play even better," he said. "The team needs him much more now and I want more from him."

Guardiola was happy with his side's performance but admitted they had won without having to work too hard.

"We won comfortably, without really shining," he said. "We did some things really well, but to compete at the highest level you have to give more and we need to demand more from ourselves.

"Without playing that well, we got a very favourable result - we defended really well, but we lacked rhythm when we had the ball."

Guardiola has a number of injury concerns ahead of Tuesday night's Champions League match at VfB Stuttgart.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was left out at the last minute and the Sweden striker must now be a doubt, while Guardiola withdrew captain Carles Puyol late on, although he is confident the defender will be fit for the trip to Germany.

"Ibrahimovic's ankle has been bothering him all week and today it was (swollen up) like a potato," he said. "Puyol had blurred vision, but he'll be fine."

The match against Racing was full of milestones for Barca. It was Guardiola's 100th match in charge - of which Barca have won 71, drawn 19 and lost just 10. Henry's strike was his first of 2010, while Marquez got off the mark for the current campaign and youngster Thiago Alcantara bagged his first ever goal for the club.

Meanwhile, Victor Valdes is now third in the all-time list of league appearances for goalkeepers in Barca colours, with 248. If he stays at the club for several more seasons, Valdes is likely to overtake both Andoni Zubizarreta (301 matches) and Antoni Ramallets (288).

It was also Andres Iniesta's 300th competitive game for the club and he marked the occasion with his first goal of the season.

Iniesta believes Saturday's win was just the performance they needed ahead of the resumption of their Champions League defence.

"When you lose what you want is to play again quickly and win, and this gives us confidence for Tuesday's game," he said. "We were efficient, we dominated and we scored early, maybe we lacked a little authority but now we must think about Tuesday.

"The Champions League is a competition we like a lot and on Tuesday we have to get a good result."

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