Leandro Paredes: 'We fight together'

Before this week's UEFA Champions League game with Manchester United, the Argentina international talks us through his start to the season.

We get the impression the new season started before the old one had even finished. How has it been for you?

For me it was a strange year, with everything that happened. We hadn't even finished our European campaign than the new season had started. One season finished when the next one started. Today we are in the middle of the season, we have to think about improving, getting in shape physically. It's very difficult when you've not had a pre-season as usual. Of course, that leads to a lot of injuries and I hope things will get better and better physically with all that we have ahead of us.

A very strong squad was formed last season. How has that helped you all overcome the difficulties this season?

I think there is still that group, this desire to fight for each other, to always be together, to enjoy every moment. This year it seems that we are not, but we are still the same. We didn’t start in the best way, we had many injuries but the group is incredible, we are all having a great time, enjoying each other and fighting for the other.

After the Leipzig game, there was a lot of criticism of the team's performance. What do the squad focus on in times like that?

We know when we play well and when we don't. We are the first ones to know that. But we are also aware that we are an intelligent team that knows how to play in order to win. That's the most important thing. I think this game was to play like that because they are a very good team physically and we were not very good physically to compete as equals in the game and try to make a more intense game. We were smart, we played the game we needed and we won which was the most important thing so we are happy.