Quitting Barcelona was never an option, insists Vilanova

The 44-year-old claims he never considered resigning from his post due to his battles against ill-health, but says he would have understood a decision by the club to replace him
Tito Vilanova has insisted that he never thought about stepping down as Barcelona coach despite his ongoing battle against cancer.

The 44-year-old replaced Pep Guardiola as Barca's head coach in the summer of 2012, but missed a number of months due to a cancer relapse at the end of last year.

However, having recently returned to the dugout once more, Vilanova has stressed that his job is not a burden to him as he continues his recovery.

"I never considered giving up my job. It is no burden to me and the doctors told me that the best thing I could do was to work," the Blaugrana coach said at a press conference.

"I would have understood any decision by the club [if they had looked to replace me]. We should be happy that the players have managed to hold themselves in the league and be grateful for the effort they have made.

"I feel well after all that I’ve been through. I didn’t come back any earlier because there were some secondary effects. But I’m feeling better with every day and I was really looking forward to returning here."

Barcelona vice-president Josep Bartomeu revealed earlier this week that Vilanova will continue as head coach next season.