Guardiola demands consistency

Barca boss wants defending European champions to push on

Guardiola: Rallying call

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has called on the defending champions to match Manchester United's recent consistency in the UEFA Champions League.

The record of defending champions of the European Cup has proved poor in recent seasons, with the one exception being the Red Devils, who reached the final last year, where they lost to Guardiola's side.

The Catalans take on Stuttgart in Wednesday's second leg of their last-16 tie and Guardiola wants his side to push on.

He said: "It's a marvellous challenge to try and be one of the best eight sides in Europe and to emulate Manchester United, who last year became the only recent champions to make the quarter-finals the following season."

Guardiola also thinks the exit of bitter rivals Real Madrid to Lyon last week should serve as a warning to his side.

Warning

"Of course, it is possible the same could happen to us, this is a great competition," he said.

"It's a warning. We could lose but it would have been impossible for us to achieve the titles we did last season if we had under-estimated our opponents."

Meanwhile, Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets believes it is important for the Catalans to stick to the attacking style which brought them the title last season.

He said: "Above all we have to be ourselves.

"That is to say, focus on everything that made us the reigning champions. Keeping the ball, playing as a unit and most importantly creating goal-scoring chances."