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Xavi: "The sky's the limit for Gavi, he's exciting to watch"

The Barcelona coach was impressed with the young midfielder, but critical with his team: "Our positional play isn't right, we've lost it and that surprises me".

Xavi: "The sky's the limit for Gavi, he's exciting to watch"

Xavi spoke to the media after watch his Barça side throw away a two-goal lead to Elche before Nico saved the day with a late winner.

What are you looking for with your centre-forward? Jutglà played deeper tonight...

On a tactical level, what we are looking for is attacking spaces. We knew that they would play a 4-4-2 and that the centre-backs would need to move forward, Alba out wide and Gavi playing just behind the striker. Ferran is more of a winger than a centre-forward but he is good at moving into spaces. We practiced those moves in training this week. Our positional play is still not right and that surprises me. Once again we didn't do a tactical foul in their first goal. It's a shame because we in those moments we are not doing our job properly. We need more time. In the second half we tried to do it with Gavi, but he is more of a midfielder although he was superb tonight.

How decisive was Gavi tonight?

Having a player like Gavi is incredible - the way he competes for a 17-year-old, for everything he creates. He's amazing. He's the future for this club. Him, Nico, Gavi, Abde... We have a brilliant generation of players coming through. They are just kids and that makes it difficult. They have personality... I played when I was 18 and I was frightened. Gavi is an exciting player to watch. They way he competes - for a coach, that's priceless.

Jutglà, Gavi and Nico all scored tonight. Do you think some of the older, more experienced players need to step up?

I'm not sending any messages out to the veteran players. The work that the older ones are doing has been excellent. It's surprising that the younger ones are scoring but that's not a criticism of anyone else. They way they train, how they play. We need to return to the model of playing which we've lost and that is a surprise for me. That's the future of this club. We put in a brilliant game right up until Elche scored and later were able to redeem ourselves.

Who is to blame for Barça losing their style of play?

I don't know. I haven't been here for the last six years and I've seen some surprising things on a tactical level, the third man...

Could you compare this generation to Pedri's and Busquets'?

We draw up the team today and we need to have seven players from the first team squad. I wish we'd been able to field more youth team players in the starting line-up. It depends on the player, but quite a few of them just don't understand. I learned about positional play when I was just 11 years old. But we seem to be struggling with it.


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