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Vilanova: Judge my Barcelona reign next season

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Vilanova: I expected more from Pep
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Vilanova: I expected more from Pep

Tito Vilanova has urged critics of his Barcelona reign to judge him next season after watching his side record a 4-2 victory over Real Betis in La Liga on Sunday.

The Blaugrana are only two points short of clinching the league title with four matches remaining, but they have faced criticism from various sections of the media for their perceived defensive frailties and elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Bayern Munich.

However, the Barca boss is the first to admit that he may have made mistakes during his first term in charge of the Catalans after succeeding Pep Guardiola last year, and has vowed to "do things differently" in the forthcoming campaign.

"One must improve and be self-critical. It's been a tough year for injuries. The coach has not been around for over two months and it's not been easy," he told reporters.

"Next year, we'll do things differently, but it is normal because it is only my first year. If we had not managed [Lionel] Messi's injury well, he would not have reached the same match against Betis to help.

"Tomorrow [on Monday] I'm off to New York and back on Thursday. It was all planned, and during this process you have to be in control of everything."

Vilanova then reflected on FCB's victory over the Andalusians and felt that they displayed "character" to come back from going a goal down inside the first two minutes at Camp Nou, before challenging his players to wrap up the championship next week.

"We needed tranquility and this was the game to find it. The players were convinced too and to concede a goal in just the second minute is not easy, but we showed character," the 44-year-old added.

"Especially when they [Betis] score a second before the break. It was a matter of not losing our heads.

"Our consistency in the league has been demonstrated. Madrid have been outstanding during the second half [of the season], so we must add two points next week because Madrid will not drop any more."

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