Luis Enrique: "We'll still win LaLiga title"
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique remains convinced his faltering team will end their winless run and retain the La Liga title after seeing their treble dreams dashed
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique remains convinced his faltering team will end their winless run and retain the La Liga title after seeing their treble dreams dashed.
The Catalan side have surrendered a nine-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid after losing their last three games and are now above them only due to a superior head-to-head record.
Barca, whose defence of their European crown was ended by Atletico in the Champions League quarter-finals last week, are also just one point ahead of Real Madrid.
However, Luis Enrique remained positive before the trip to Deportivo La Coruna on Wednesday, after which they will have just four games left in the title race.
"I'm convinced we're going to win the league, if I wasn't I wouldn't be sat here," he told a news conference on Tuesday. "I like adversity, that's how I am. I want to turn this around, win tomorrow and put on a show. I want to delight the fans who are behind us and can't explain this situation."
Luis Enrique did not give any reasons for the dramatic loss of form, which has seen his side go from 39 games unbeaten in all competitions to losing four of their last five games.
"We are on a negative run but we don't need to exaggerate.If it's due to psychology, then we have the best psychologist around (at the club)," he added. "We're clinging on to our players and their attitude and their way of competing. We have had moments like this before, we know how to cope with pressure. But we're playing against teams that can punish us with few chances."
Luis Enrique was also unapologetic for deriding a reporter who had asked him about the team's fitness levels at a news conference after Sunday's 2-1 home defeat by Valencia.
"I have nothing to apologise for. I didn't show anyone a lack of respect," he said. "Journalists have also shown me a lack of respect. This is my style, I don't care if you don't like it."
Barcelona, who had hoped to repeat the treble they won last season, will be without influential centre back Gerard Pique at Deportivo through suspension. He is set to be replaced by Marc Bartra, who has made just three league starts this season.