Madrid: Barcelona football club midfielder Xavi Hernandez praised the work coach Tito Vilanova has done since replacing Pep Guardiola at the end of last season.
Many were surprised when Vilanova, who had been Guardiola`s assistant, stepped forward to take on the first team as Guardiola took a year`s break from the game after four successful years in charge at the Camp Nou.
Vilanova`s season got off to a slightly disappointing start as Barca lost the Spanish Supercup on away goals to Real Madrid, but his side has responded well and currently sit top of the Primera Liga with 11 wins and one draw from their opening 12 games of the season.
The club also assured its place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a 3-0 win away to Spartak Moscow Tuesday.
Speaking to the official Barcelona website, Xavi expressed his satisfaction at the way the transition between Guardiola to Vilanova had been almost seamless and with the work the coach was doing at the club.
"I have really good feelings about things," he said. "Tito is doing an extraordinary job and he has surprised us all with the personality that he has shown and also with the leadership capacity that he has."
"He has not changed much on a tactical or technical level and the training sessions are basically the same. Also virtually all the same people are present, except for Pep and so we are all very happy with things," said Xavi, who also looked back on the first three months of the season.
"We are in good shape, we have started the league very well and we are well on track in the Champions, so the sensation is very good. We may or may not win in the end, but for the moment we are playing good football and enjoying the time with Tito, so we hope to reach our final objectives," he said.
First Published: Saturday, November 24, 2012, 13:47