SOCCER

Barcelona: Koeman takes no questions in pre-Cádiz press conference

The under-fire Barcelona boss refused to take questions when he faced the media ahead of Thursday's LaLiga clash with Cádiz, instead reading a prepared statement.

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Barcelona: Koeman takes no questions in pre-match press conference

The situation at Barcelona is about to explode - so much so that head coach Ronald Koeman refused to hold his usual pre-match press conference ahead of Thursday’s LaLiga clash against Cádiz, appearing before the media only to read a prepared statement.

A stern-looking Koeman called for faith in the young players coming through at Barça, insisted that he has the confidence of the club’s board, thanked the fans for their support and sought to lower on-field expectations, saying “miracles should not be expected” in the Champions League.

The Dutchman’s decision to limit his press appearance to a statement had not been agreed on with the Barça communications department, whose members were as surprised as the media gathered in the press room. Only the club’s first-team captains were told of Koeman’s plan, moments before the coach read his statement.

Ronald Koeman's statement:

The club is behind me as coach in a situation of reconstruction. The sporting situation is linked to the financial circumstances and vice versa, and that means we have to rebuild the club and the squad without making large investments, and that needs time.

“The young talents coming through can be world stars in a few years. The good thing is that the youngsters will get opportunities, just as Xavi and [Andrés] Iniesta did, but patience is required.

“Finishing high up in LaLiga would be a success, and in the Champions League miracles should not be expected. The defeat against Bayern Munich should be viewed from that perspective.

Koeman during Barcelona's 1-1 draw with Granada on Monday, which required a late Ronald Araújo to salvage a point at the Camp Nou.

“The process the squad is currently in deserves to be supported unconditionally, in words and actions. Support the process we’re carrying out.

“I know that the press appreciates this process. It’s not the first time in history that this has happened. We count on your support in these difficult times. We as a squad are very happy with the great support we got from the fans against Granada.

Visca el Barça.”