Barcelona’s head coach Quique Setien maintains there are no issues between Lionel Messi and his coaching staff at Camp Nou amid historical allegations of unrest.
Since resuming LaLiga and losing in Seville and Celta Vigo – both sides of a 1-0 home victory over Athletic Bilbao – Barca have searched for their best form, handing over the lead to Real Madrid in the championship race.
Zinedine Zidane ‘s men are two points clear of the remaining six matches, while still maintaining a top head-to-head record from this season’s Clasico games.
Having given up a lead twice last time out in their 2-2 draw against Celta, Barca faces a difficult home assignment to form the Madrid Atletico on Tuesday.
Messi was seen ignoring instructions from Setien’s number two Eder Sarabia during the break at Balaidos, where heated words had reportedly been exchanged in the dressing room after the game.
Speaking on a pre-match news conference for Atleti ‘s visit, Setien insisted Messi and the squad will be united in the battle to retain their title.
Quique Setien spoke and about the incident of Messi-Sarabia. He said: “It is true in fact that there are always disputes, as in life, and differences are natural. But that has always been the case. I have not been an easy player either. What we have to try to do is convince everyone of the idea. I regard it as normal. The contact is strong in there. I don’t make any sense of it.”
Setien argues that after losing points in a high-pressure title race, concerns posed within the camp should not be viewed as a shock.
he said: If there is no winning when you don’t win, everyone gets a point across. The relationship we have with the staff is good. It’s true that at certain moments, we don’t agree. We discussed a lot of topics yesterday but we focused on football. We need to get better and do things better. We ‘re frustrated with the situation we ‘re in, where we’re superior but don’t create goals, but the situations are normal.”
Atletico is on a streak of four straight games, having come back to the season after their initial match was resumed.
Setien added: “They are a great team, they identify with the way they do things very easily. Winning is a tremendously decisive question because anything can happen but the margin [in the title race] is less each time the matches are reduced. We are putting due emphasis as much on this game as on others.”