Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde is determined not to let talk about his future distract his team ahead of the Copa del Rey final.
Ernesto Valverde insisted there has been enough talk about his future ahead of Barcelona's Copa del Rey final against Valencia.
Domestic double on the cards
Barça can complete a second consecutive double under Valverde by defeating Valencia in Seville on Saturday, but pressure has built on the head coach since their latest Champions League collapse away at Liverpool. Having let a 4-1 first-leg lead slip in the quarter-finals against Roma last year, the Blaugranas saw a 3-0 advantage overturned by Jürgen Klopp's side in the last four this season.
Support from the president
President Josep Maria Bartomeu has offered Valverde his backing, though, while captain Lionel Messi also spoke out in support of the coach on Friday. Valverde concedes he must accept some responsibility for a defeat that has overshadowed their success this season, but he is keen to set the topic aside until after the final.
"I do not think too much about my future," he told a news conference. "The only thing that worries me is to win [against Valencia]. Every day is a battle. If you look around the coaches in LaLiga, we are part of the show. We all get ups and downs. You only have to see what happened to [Valencia coach] Marcelino, who had a moment, or [Real] Madrid changing coach. I do not know about Leo Messi defending me. We are all aware that, when there is an elimination, we must all take responsibility, the players, the coaches, all of us. We are hurt, but we have to look forwards and face the consequences again. I do not feel any more pressure. Why would I? I've always said that the club respects my work and it's always been like that. I have no complaints from the president or the board."
Enjoy these goals against Valencia, before the final on Saturday #TotsUnits— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 23, 2019
Pushed further on the issue, Valverde told reporters he had provided all the answers required on his future. Meanwhile, the coach was expecting Nelson Semedo and Arthur to train ahead of the final and was hopeful on the fitness of Philippe Coutinho. Valverde insisted he knew nothing in relation to the report the final will be Jasper Cillessen's last match for the club amid reported interest from Benfica.