Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman spoke on Wednesday in the preview of the match against Granada.
How important would it be to be a leader?
It would be important because we are at a time when we know that we can be leaders. It may be a prize, but first we have to win. It is an unexpected situation. Some time ago we were with points of disadvantage. We have achieved something great, to be able to fight to win LaLiga. And this is an opportunity. We know that we have to win our games, not just tomorrow. We still have a long way to go but it is an opportunity to be leaders, of course.
How important would it be psychologically to put yourself first?
Tomorrow's is important like any game. We have been under pressure for a long time. Because we needed the points. Now it is not more important than the last games. There is a fight between the four teams. To be a champion, you will have to win almost every game.
What would you think of the return of the public to the Camp Nou?
If we can have an audience on the field, for any footballer it is important and it is beautiful. And at home, more. I saw the last day in Holland. There were thousands of spectators and the matches are different, more exciting. We lack people in the stadiums and hopefully we can have them in the next matches.
Due to the dynamics of the team, do you detect a climate of euphoria, can it be dangerous?
I have seen the team concentrated. I have not seen that the players see that the work is done. A while ago, everything was different. According to many people we are the favorites, but we do not think that way. We know how difficult it is to win a match. The team has learned that you have to go game by game. You don't have to go crazy for being able to win LaLiga now. We have to go game by game. That's not important. You have to be prepared for a difficult game.
Has your opinion of Griezmann changed?
I remember that, during the summer, I spoke with Antoine. For me he is a very important player. There was criticism for the effectiveness of the forwards, and also of Antoine. And also, he is a boy that I like because he is a team player and he always trains hard. The forwards are going for streaks, but surely they are for more confidence. The 0-1 against Villarreal proves it. It is in an important and good moment for the team. Hopefully it continues like this.
It would be the biggest comeback in the history of LaLiga- Do you regret having said that you did not give them to win LaLiga?
We have won 15 of the last 17. If we wanted to fight for LaLiga, it had to be like that, with an impressive streak. But the team took the reins, it has gone to more. The effectiveness has gone up. And if this team is good, we can achieve the maximum. I've always said it from day one.
Come this game, what does a coach say taking into account that he can put himself ahead in the League. What role does the coach play?
The role doesn't change much. From the first day until today. We have a way of working and preparing the matches. The preparation of the game will not be different. The players know that if you are a Barça player, you have to win things and you have to play well. We have leaders in the dressing room and very experienced people. They have to pass this on to the young people. For people like Mingueza, Araújo and Pedri they are experiencing different things. The Maores have to transmit. My role doesn't change much. Being different from how I have behaved so far would not be logical.
Does Barça need a footballer like Neymar to win the Champions League? Guardiola said that, with him, Barça would have won three more Champions.
It is always important to have the best in the world and they showed that they were together at Barça. Now it is not like that and we work with those we have, who are good players. And we have shown that this is how we can fight. You never know if you win when you have the best. We must talk about today. What has happened so far does not count.
Are you considering rotating Pedri?
For me the important thing is the team, if a player is not physically well, there is a possibility of thinking about changes. But I am not in favor of changing a lot. If the equipment works there is no need to change. And it is very hard for the substitutes, I know. But the important thing is the team, we will see the physical data and the freshness of the player and then we will make decisions, nothing more.
He has four players warned of sanction. Does it condition him?
No. It's part of soccer. The game is tomorrow. The game in two weeks is not important if we do not win tomorrow. You have to be smart. There are plays where you don't have to risk. But if in an action you have to help the team, bad luck and play another the next game.
You won three leagues in the last day. Is it too early to lead?
It is never early. For me it is better to be the first as soon as possible, because the others have to fight to equal you in the table. If we are as lucky as we were in 1992, 19993 and 1994, we will surely be champions.
Simeone said that LaLiga will win the strongest mentally. Is it Barça?
I do not know. I can't comment on the other teams, but we are mentally strong. We have gotten up with blows. I agree with Simeone. They have all played many games and the players are not 100% because they have no discomfort. The key is to do your best in those five and six games. You have to live with discomfort and fatigue. Whoever dominates this will win LaLiga.
Are you worried about PSG's offer for Messi?
I'm not interested because, first, I don't know if it's true. And second, I hope that Leo continues with us. His career has to end here because he has been here all his life. I do not care what has come out. What may happen at the end of the season we will see then. I don't care today.
Does Barça need a nine for next season?
We are working because it is what we have to do. See where we can improve. Like any coach and any club. We have been without Ansu for five months, who had four goals in six games. And we are the team that has created the most scoring opportunities. I think we have scored 76 goals in LaLiga, without having a couple more players.
Do you think they will be able to sign a crack, will it be viable?
As a coach, I have to try to improve the team. But it depends on the financial situation of the club. The president will send on a possible signing. We have talked and continue to talk about the signings. It is in the hands of the club. Mateu Alemany, Ramon Planes and I will see what is best for the team.
Do they look favorites?
Favorite is who goes first in LaLiga. And the team is not yet first in LaLiga.