Xavi: "It's quite clear that we need to strengthen the team"
The Barça coach revealed that he has discussed Dembélé's new contract with him and added that a result against Elche is needed to change the negative dynamic.
Xavi Hernández was keen to clear up several issues in Friday's press conference as he looked ahead to tomorrow's meeting with Elche. He freely admitted that the club needs to reinforce the squad in next month's transfer window and that they desperately need to change the negative dynamic they are in, he is convinced that Dembélé will end up renewing and that he hasn't totally given up on Barça winning LaLiga.
How is the team shaping up going into the Elche game?
We've been struggling more than we expected. We need more time, but we are on the right path. Now is the moment to take a step forward.
Are you worried about how plans to renew Dembélé's contract are progressing?
I held a meeting with him on Thursday. I'm positive about it. He knows what the sports project is about and how important he will be within it. He's happy here. Now it depends on the club and his agent.
What are the chances that Barça will finish in the top four?
I have a lot of faith in the squad, but it's obvious that we're not getting the results. Tomorrow's game against Elche will be an acid test for us to change this negative dynamic we're in.
Are you thinking about reinforcements in January?
What concerns me right now are the next two games and making sure we take six points from them. Laporta and Alemany know what I want in the short and medium term.
Why isn't Eric Garcia playing?
He'll be a first choice and will be important for us. Not everyone can play every week.
Is LaLiga the most important target for the club?
It's what gauges how consistent a team is over the course of a season. We need to grit our teeth and belive in what we are doing. The sensations are good, but football is all about winning.
What differences will we see against Elche?
We lack understanding to our game. Some players are struggling to understand positional play and that is surprising for a Barça player.
Talking of winning trophies, is it a wish or a possibility?
We shouldn't rule anything out. When I was a player we were 18 points behind and we managed to pull ourselves back level. I'm positive, but realistic - but why can't we win LaLiga?
Tebas says Haaland won't be joining Barça
At the moment, we are in a difficult economic situation and we have to realise that it won't be easy, we have a salary cap. As for big name players, we haven't spoken about that possibility. I don't know what Tebas said, but it's in his interest that players like Haaland come here as it raises the profile of LaLiga.
Are you happy with how Frenkie de Jong is performing?
He's improving. We are working with him and with other players. He's young, but he's also got a lot of experience. But when things aren't turning out for you, you lose self-confidence.
And Ter Stegen?
He's one of the best goalkeepers in the world, but he need to feel confident.