Barcelona do not need 'a revolution' says Carles Puyol, despite Champions League exit being followed by defeat to Granada
The Catalan side suffered a blow to their La Liga aspirations at the weekend
Monday 14 April 2014
The current Barcelona squad have a great deal left to give and there is no need for a sweeping overhaul in the close season, captain Carles Puyol said on Monday.
Barca coach Gerardo Martino and his players have come in for some sharp criticism following last week's Champions League exit at the hands of Atletico Madrid and Saturday's shock reverse at Granada in La Liga.
Sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has been accused of failing to bring in sufficient squad reinforcements over the past couple of years, with the lack of a centre back to replace the ailing Puyol seen as one glaring omission.
A FIFA ban from the transfer market for the next two windows could also complicate life for the Spanish champions if their appeal against the sanction, over a breach of rules on the transfer of foreign under-18 players, is unsuccessful.
Puyol, who turned 36 this week and has barely featured this season because of injury, said he and his team mates were with Argentine Martino, who is just under halfway through a two-year contract, "to the death".
"I don't think there needs to be a revolution depending on the results," Puyol told a news conference ahead of Wednesday's King's Cup final against Real Madrid, when record winners Barca will be chasing a 27th triumph in the competition.
"You have to have a working method, not just according to whether you win one or two trophies," added the centre back. "The team is hungry, it wants to win and keep making history."
Puyol and team mates like Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi are some of the most decorated and experienced players in soccer history but Barca have stumbled in recent weeks against defence-minded teams, especially on the road.
They have dominated games but failed to turn long periods of possession into goals and Saturday's 1-0 defeat in Granada left them four points behind La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid and a point behind Real with five games left.
"We are aware that we have made mistakes but I can say loud and clear that we will fight as hard as we can in the final and in the five remaining league matches, when a lot of things can still happen," Puyol said.
"There have been moments when we were not consistent enough but now we need to look ahead.
"We have a very important final and we have to give the fans some joy. For sure winning in Valencia would be a big confidence boost and will change things around."
Martino is waiting on Puyol's fitness as well as that of fellow injured centre backs Gerard Pique and Marc Bartra for the clash at Valencia's Mestalla stadium, the venue for the 2011 final which Real won 1-0.
"I am working hard to get there, as are Marc and Gerard," Puyol said.
"There are two days to go and we will do everything to be there. Tomorrow we will assess our chances of playing."
Latest in Sport
Petr Cech demands talks over Chelsea future as Thibaut Courtois begs him to stay – as mentor
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United to push ahead with £50m move for Real Madrid winger
Marcos Rojo to Manchester United: Sporting Lisbon confirm deal with Nani heading back to Portugal on loan
Arsenal player ratings vs Besiktas
Besiktas vs Arsenal player ratings: Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Calum Chambers - who was the Gunners star man?
- 1 The way the police have treated Cliff Richard is completely unacceptable
- 2 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 3 Michael Brown shooting: Ferguson police shoot and kill second young black man
- 4 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 5 Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermeister and vodka
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head