Ernesto Valverde attended the media this afternoon to preview tomorrow's meeting with Valencia at Camp Nou. Inevitably, he was also asked about Barça crashing out of the Champions League to Roma after ceding a three-goal lead.
Valencia enjoying a great season
What do you expect your team to face against Valencia on Saturday?
I'm expecting the same as always because since they lost to us, they have been in a great run of form. They play with a straightforward 4-4-2 which is easily recognizable and it's serving them well. They are having a great season. They are not involved in European competition this time but they will be in Europe next year.
Would you say this is a delicate moment for Barça?
The team looks fine to me, even though we are in one of the difficult moments of the season - probably the second most difficult phase since August but since then we have been consistent and played good football. What happened this week was a disappointment, especially for our fans. But we have to keep going. We have trophies to play for. We lost on Tuesday but we can't do anything about that now. We've got to get our second wind back, pick ourselves us and lift our fans' spirits.
I've been through worse, says Valverde
In terms of spirit, how are you feeling? Do you think you have lost some credit?
I'm fine. It's not the worst moment of my career, I can assure you of that. But it is a bad moment - I won't deny it. And here, we are all keen to achieve the same objectives. When we win we are happy and when we lose is when we have to be more united.
He's been a bit quieter than usual but not for any reason in particular.
Could the Roma defeat have negative repercussions between now and the end of the season?
Back in August, it was as though the whole world had caved in; but we all knuckled down and took it forward together. Things do tend to prey on your mind - it's only natural but these are things which we are powerless to change now.
Do you feel as though you're in the firing line?
I don't know. I suppose I am but when you take the Barça job, that's the way it is. We have to weather the storm. I knew it would be this way. It happens to every coach and it will happen to me.
Messi with plenty to win
Will Zaza be the danger man tomorrow?
It's been a good week for Italian football and that has its merits. Zaza is a great player, he's strong and we'll have to keep an eye on him.
Is there a risk that Messi could lose motivation?
Leo has a lot of things left to win this season - with Barça and with his national team. He's got to get that motivation back. Messi has won the Champions League four times. I don't know if winning the Champions League again would make Messi more of a player than he already is.