UEFA Cup diarist Patrick Kluivert wants another emphatic win against Panionios NFC.
With FC Barcelona 3-0 up against Panionios NFC after the first leg of their UEFA Cup second-round tie in Greece, uefa.com diarist Patrick Kluivert is eager for his side to finish the job in style.
By Patrick Kluivert
We will go into our UEFA Cup second-leg game with Panionios at the Camp Nou on Thursday evening in confident mood after the first match but we know the real tests in this competition are yet to come. We must still be professional against the Greek side but in truth we must expect to beat them by at least the 3-0 scoreline we achieved at the start of the month.
The better team
I mean no disrespect to Panionios but we showed in the away leg that we are the better team and we must be aiming to kill the tie off as soon as possible in Spain. That is our job and I am sure we will still be in the competition when it becomes really interesting in the new year and the third round is played.
It is no secret that the UEFA Cup is very important to Barcelona this season. Our failure to qualify for the UEFA Champions League is already in the past. We are all very focused on going all the way to the final. A club like this should always be challenging for European honours and we plan to make that a reality this season.
Thursday's game is also a good opportunity to put Saturday's Primera División defeat at Villarreal CF behind us. We conceded a goal in the final minute of the match to lose 2-1 and everyone in the team was very angry with the way we threw away a share of the points. It is the third time this season we have conceded late in league matches to surrender important points and the sooner we have a chance to get it out of our system the better.
Back on form
I scored our only goal on Saturday, which was pleasing from a personal point of view, but it means little when the team does not win. It was my third goal in three games and although it is too early to speak of turning a corner, I feel my real true game is beginning to come back.
I cannot say that this has been the best start to a season in my career but I do not believe it has been as bad as some critics have argued. A striker at any level will go through periods when the goals do not flow and that is what has happened to me this year. I am not happy to go three or four or five games without a goal but when it happens, I am not anxious either.
The most important thing for me is the opinion of my coaches - Frank Rijkaard at the Camp Nou and Dick Advocaat with Holland - and how they believe I am playing. I had been out of the Barça starting lineup for a few matches earlier in the month but Frank Rijkaard showed faith in me, brought me back into the team and I have begun to score again.
That is what really matters. Even what I think about my own performances doesn't matter compared to the views of your coach, but I feel Frank is happy with me at this moment and that makes me happy and optimistic about the rest of the season.