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Iniesta: Vilanova is not the same as Guardiola and we cannot expect a treble in his first season

Iniesta: Vilanova is not the same as Guardiola and we cannot expect a treble in his first season

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The midfielder is doing his utmost to ease the pressure on the Blaugrana's new boss, insisting he should not be constantly compared with the man he is replacing at the helm

Andres Iniesta feels it would be unfair to expect incoming Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova to emulate Pep Guardiola by leading the club to a treble in his first season at the helm.

Guardiola announced in April that he would be stepping down at the end of the season and the Blaugrana swiftly named his current right-hand man as his replacement.

While the pair have been working alongside one another for the past five years, dating back to their time in charge of Barca B, Iniesta does not feel that Vilanova should have to put up with constant comparisons with the man he is succeeding.

"Now it's his chance, but we cannot pretend that he is another Guardiola," the Spain international told La Vanguardia. "Each coach has his own style and characteristics.

"We cannot expect him to repeat the treble in his first year. All players just have to be on his side, support him and help him."

Meanwhile, Iniesta admitted that the players are united in their desire to give Guardiola the perfect send-off in Friday's Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao.

"The dressing room's opinion of Guardiola - and vice versa - will not change whether we win or lose, because our feelings toward one another are already clear," he mused. "But, certainly, we want Guardiola to go out with a smile."

Barca's clash with the Basques is scheduled to kick off at the Vicente Calderon at 4 p.m. ET.

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