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Barcelona's Valverde: "You can't always say what you think"

The Barcelona coach is fully aware that the team needs to improve: "At the end of the day, it's the coach who is responsible for what happens".

Barcelona's Valverde: "You can't always say what you think"
Gorka LeizaDIARIO AS

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde joined Nélson Semedo to attend the international media on the eve of the team's Champions League meeting with Slavia Prague at Camp Nou.

What are you expecting from tomorrow's rivals?

A game similar to the last one in Prague and the one they played against Inter in Milan. Slavia are a side who maintain their identity - both in their league and in the Champions League. So we are expecting a similar game to the one we played over there - it's going to be physical battle with both teams pushing to get to their rivals' penalty area.

Is what is happening to the team a football issue or something else?

When we lose a game, I try to identify football-related reasons for why we lost. In Granada, against Levante... You need to know why you lost. I don't really go into parapsycholigal theories.

Do you feel up to the job?

We all know what this is all about. At the end of the day the coach is responsible for what happens and when the team is under suspicion, it's the coach who everyone looks at. I accept that and take it on board. I accept that we didn't play well against Levante and that we have to imporve.

Have you considered changing the system?

The possibility of doing that is always there. Within the possibilities open to us, we have to get players forward so that we have bodies in the box. Sometimes our final pass isn't good enough. We have to find solution within the framework of the team.

Are Luis Suárez's ongoing injuries a concern?

It's not a serious injury and I don't know whether he'll be fit for Saturday's game.

Does Griezmann have to focus more on attacking that defending?

No. What he needs to do is be more involved when we are going forward. Griezmann is involved in the team's moves, he's doing an incredible job. He makes the team work and he's a player who gives us a lot.

Is the early kick-off time (18:55 hours) a problem?

The time is fine with us. In LaLiga, games can start at 13:00, 14:00, 16:00... So it's not a problem here.

Aren't you keen to say more about what you really think about the team?

Look, in press conferences, the general tendency is that we're off the scale in the league table when we are doing well or sunk without trace when we don't win. I try to maintain some kind of balance. You always think that you can improve or the things you've got wrong. Whatever you might be thinking, you can't always say it in public. Those things you have to say where they will make a difference, within yourself.