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Rijkaard to go back to basics with Barcelona

Written by: Staff
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MADRID, Oct 24 (Reuters) Consecutive defeats to Chelsea and Real Madrid have forced a rethink on Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard, who has blamed himself for the side's dip in form.

''I haven't done well. The alignments and the style of play haven't been clear, and my substitutions have not helped us to win the last two games,'' Rijkaard told Radio Catalunya.

The European and Spanish champions fell 1-0 away to Chelsea in the Champions League last week and followed that up with a 2-0 league defeat against arch-rivals Real Madrid in the Bernabeu on Sunday.

The system of rotations, that has come under fire from sections of the Barcelona-based sports press, appears to be the main area of concern for Rijkaard.

''The attitude of the team has been good, but I think now is the moment to return to basic principles,'' the Dutchman said.

''Perhaps I have focused too much on individuals managing things so that one player or another plays, and failed to concentrate on what is best for the team overall.

''I have done things which have affected the team and taken us away from our usual tactics. The team hasn't functioned well and we can't continue like this. It has been a warning call for me.'' The Primera Liga leaders face a Catalan derby against third division Badalona in the King's Cup fourth round first leg tomorrow and host Recreativo Huelva in the league on Saturday.

REUTERS DH BD1642

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