Bear restless while Pep still ponders.

Pep, It’s fair to say the result in the last game wasn’t the best for us, do you think the journalists are being unfair with the criticism so early in the season?

No, not at all. When we have our best ever start to a season it’s normal to for everyone to get carried away and expect another win. I think it’s good for journalists, as well as our fans, to have high expectations for the team. I still think we should have won that game, even if our first half performance wasn’t the best. We really came to life in the second half and should have got the three points.

With the one training session left before Thursday, have you got your match day squad decided or there still a few questions in your mind?

The final 16 will be decided tonight after the training session, so there are still places up for grabs. I am happy to say that all the players available are well up for it and cannot wait for the game on Thursday. I’m sure some will be disappointed to be left out but I hope that makes them work that bit harder in training next time.

This match is between teams/fans who are all very good friends and is destined to be played in good spirits, is there a fear players of either team will be overly nice?

I doubt that either team will be overly nice. Yes, there are quite a number of friends between both teams but I’m sure that once the Referee blows the whistle, friendships will be put aside for those 90 minutes, as both teams will want the win. I do hope for an entertaining match for all the fans and of course, a Boca win at the end. We know we will have to work hard for it and I’m sure that whoever plays, will try and giver their all for those vital 3 points.

What’s the verdict on JJ and will he be available for Thursday?

Unfortunately he will be out for Thursday’s game, but the good thing about this squad is we have strength in depth so I know that whoever fills in, will do an excellent job. We’re still not sure how long he will be out for but it does not seem he will be back with us for a while. On behalf of the whole team, we wish him a speedy recovery and we cannot wait until he is available again to play.

Questions to Bear!

Boca have started with 7 points out of a possible 9, albeit with a draw against a tough Cannons side last week. How do you rate the team’s performances so far this year?

Its a strange situation to be in, on one hand we’re delighted to have achieved almost maximum points after 3 games, but on the other hand were pretty disappointed we weren’t able to beat a Cannons side who most teams in the division would expect to see off… That said, we’re still unbeaten and go into every game genuinely believing we can win it. Different story from last season…

The bookies have put you as early favourite to win player of the year for a second year running after a couple of dominant displays. Do you think you are playing better football this year or have the new coaches and team had anything to do with your progression?

The coach, the one and only Berllaque takes most of the credit as he’s slapped (most of) us into shape during pre-season and had us switched on from the off. On a personal level, it was all those sweaty med steps sessions over the summer that have helped me get fitter and stronger. Hard to say whether i’m playing better, ask me again half way through the season.. i don’t think i am, same old bear 🙂

Olympique are a good side with similar team ethics to our very own here at Boca. What do you think will be the crucial factor in deciding the game and what part are you most looking forward to?

Two teams with similar players of similar quality, both relatively inexperienced so I’d say the first goal will be absolutely crucial. We have a tendency to let our heads drop when we concede early and we need to find a way to stop that. Less baking would be a start. I cannot wait for a 1-on-1 battle with Justin Santos, their main striker who’s top notch on his day.. bloody love a good challenge!

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