Barcelona manager Xavi has called for improvement after seeing his team lose two of their last three fixtures.
- Lost to Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek
- Saved by a late Ronald Araujo winner last weekend
- Club sources indicated “total faith” in manager despite form
WHAT HAPPENED? Barcelona have lost twice in the space of two weeks, falling to both Shakhtar and Real Madrid, before narrowly escaping with a win against Real Sociedad — despite a drab performance. Xavi has called on his side to produce a response ahead of their game with Alaves on Sunday.
WHAT THEY SAID: “I think it’s time to tweak things and come up with some variation. It’s time for the coach and the players to reunite. We must restore order. We played a bad game in Hamburg but the attitude has never been lacking. There’s a very healthy group, we’re a family and we’re on the right track. This team really wants to win,” he said in a pre-match press conference.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Xavi’s plea comes a few days after there were reported “crisis talks” at the Barca training ground due to recent form. While the manager admitted that recent performances have been poor, he denied the notion that there are serious problems at the club.
He added: “I’ve been beaten up all my life. I’m immune. We have to accept the criticism because we haven’t been good.”
WHAT NEXT? Barca take on 14th-placed Alaves tomorrow in their final clash before the international break, where they will hope to return to winning ways and stay in the Liga title race.