Barcelona Spoke about upcoming game
Quique Setien during training.
Barcelona coach Quique Setien has insisted that he will make full use of the entire squad in the remaining 2019/20 LaLiga Santander fixtures.
Setien used all five of his substitutions in Barcelona’s 4-0 win against Mallorca on Saturday, and it seems he intends to stick to this strategy as much as possible.
“The idea is to make changes, and there will be changes as the games go on,” Setien said at press conference ahead of Barcelona’s Tuesday night match against Leganes.
“We’ll see how fatigue affects the players, I want to get to the end with the necessary freshness so that performance is not affected by the minutes.
“We will see how the championship develops and how the players recover from the effort.
“We have to avoid injuries and ensure the players arrive to games fresh.”
Setien is wary of the challenge posed by Leganes, who are currently in the relegation spots in 19th place.
“It’s possible that the match will be complicated,” Setien added.
“For Leganes it’s an opportunity to get points to help them reach safety.
“But we also need the points to keep hold of our advantage at the top.”
Despite continued criticisms over Antoine Griezmann’s performances since joining Barcelona, Setien is keeping faith in the Frenchman.
“He’s indisputable, he’s played almost every minute since I came here,” Setien remarked.
“Now there are more players and we have to spread out the minutes.
“We’ll see how the championship evolves and what we need.
“He’s a great player and we’re counting on him.
“He will continue to play a leading role. He is an important player for the club and for the team.”
Messi turned in yet another star performance against Mallorca and ended up assisting twice and getting a last-minute goal for himself.
“He’s good, we shouldn’t just praise him for the amount of goals he scores, which is impressive, but all the other contributions makes too, such as assists,” Setien said of the Argentinian.
“The other day he got two [assists] again. It helps us get a lot of points.
“The figure of 20 goals is astronomical. I think he’s scored more than 700 goals in his career now and that’s why he’s the best in the world.”
The fixture against Leganes will be Barcelona’s first game at the Camp Nou since the lockdown began back in March and playing without fans is another challenge Setien and his charges will have to face.
“I don’t know how much it might affect us,” the coach commented. “We’d rather have fans there, but we know that’s not possible and we have to adapt.”
“Let’s hope it doesn’t affect us and we play a good game and win.
“I’d rather do it with an audience, without them you lose part of your essence.
“But it’s what we have to do and we have to adapt.”
Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal is one of a number of Barcelona players being linked with summer moves away from Camp Nou, but he scored the first goal against Mallorca and Setien has stressed how important the player is for the team.
“He is a very interesting player, he has a qualities that are always necessary in any team,” Setien added.
“He gives a lot of energy in addition to his physicality.
“We were lucky that he scored a goal and he put the game in our hands.
“He played a good game in general. I was very satisfied with his performance.”
Barcelona have a slender lead at the top of the table and with ten fixtures left the title could be decided by the smallest of margins.
“I don’t know what is the most decisive thing,” Setien replied when asked about what could determine the title race. “What you have to do is win.”
“There will be circumstances that will alter this and force us to react.
“It’s going to be a fight in which we both think that we cannot mess up.
“Let’s hope that the distance between us is enough.
“There are a lot of things we can’t control in this month we have left.”
Setien has been impressed by the attitude and desire shown by his squad since they returned to training, an aspect which could be vital in helping Barcelona win the LaLiga Santander 2019/20 title.
“I was very surprised at how well all the players behaved when they came back and at the attitude they shown since returning,” Setien commented.
“Morale has been very good. I had a hard time deciding on the first line-up.
“I hope to manage it well and try to get things right in each game.”
Recent signing Martin Braithwaite got his first goal for Barcelona against Mallorca and will look for more against his former side Leganes on Tuesday.
“With the exception of a few players, due to hierarchy and status, nobody is a starter or substitute,” Setien said of Braithwaite’s chances of lining up against Leganes.
“Just because you play one game doesn’t mean you play the second one.
“There will be rotations. I want everyone to participate and to show that spark and enthusiasm.
Real Madrid got their title race off to a good start by beating Eibar 3-0 and will be waiting for Barcelona to slip up. Setien is adamant that Barcelona can only think about themselves.
“There are many things you cannot control,” Setien said. “Yesterday three centimetres is a valid goal or it’s not.”
“And these factors no team can control, one day things go for you and another day against.
“They are details that nobody can control.”
Marc-Andre ter Stegen made his comeback all the sweeter by managing a clean sheet in the Estadio San Moix. The keeper seemed to show very little signs of post-lockdown rust.
“Marc has been very good, but making a mistake is always a possibility,” Setien said of his keeper.
“It’s not easy to come back without having had much contact with the ball and without the responsibility of a game.
“Not only have I seen it in certain goalkeepers make mistakes they don’t normally make, but also in players.
“I’ve seen it in my team and in others.”
Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez came off the bench on Saturday night to make his first appearance for Barcelona since January. Setien is keen to use the forward more but doesn’t want to push him too early.
“I haven’t decided if he’s going to start,” Setien said about Suarez chances of making the starting XI.
“He could be a starter or come off the bench again.”
“We have to be cautious, it’s common to have muscle problems after a long injury.
“Any problem has to be solved because I don’t want to lose a player for not resting one.
“You have to go little by little.”