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Barca coach Martino admits tough week but hopes for improvement against Almeria

English.news.cn   2014-03-01 22:14:35

MADRID, March 1 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona coach Gerardo, 'Tata' Martino has promised a reaction when his side entertain Almeria in the Camp Nou Stadium on Sunday night.

It has been a difficult week for Barca in general and Martino in particular after the coach was put very much under the spotlight following his side' s 3-1 defeat away to Real Sociedad a week ago. Martino admitted he had made tactical errors in his post-game press conference and the Barcelona press were not slow to react, even going as far as to name a list of possible substitutes who could be in his job next season.

Meanwhile it has been another tough week for Barcelona in the offices as well with the Spanish Treasury adding its name to the indictment filed against the club for supposed tax evasion in the Neymar transfer.

Amid all of this atmosphere of chaos, Martino has spent the week working with his squad in the knowledge that if results go their way and Atletico Madrid defeat Real Madrid on Sunday afternoon, a win at home to Almeria would take Barca back to the top of the table.

"In the league we still depend on ourselves, but we have to win everything that remains," said Martino in his pre-game press conference.

The coach has been criticized for at times being too defensive in his line-ups and betraying the attacking football which was used under Pep Guardiola and Tito Vilanova, but he insisted in the merits of his way of playing the game.

"We have more options of winning if we play as we did against Manchester City and less than if we play as we did against Real Sociedad. If you look at the season, we have played more games with three forwards than we have with four midfielders and we have played well. What happened last week was a one-off," said Martino, who preferred not to comment if the criticism he had received was fair or not.

Nor did he want to talk about the rumors over whether or not the club was looking for a new coach. "I have to concentrate on the team," he said, although he admitted it had been a difficult week.

"When you have lost a game you want to play again quickly to forget what happened, but we have had a busy week and needed to recover the defeat meant it was not an ideal week," he said.

"We have to improve to continue having options to win everything, but whatever happens in the Madrid derby, we will still depend on ourselves to win the title if we beat Almeria," added the coach.

With Gerard Pique injured Martino will probably pair Marc Bartra and Javier Mascherano in central defense, while everything points to his aligning his strongest possible midfield with Xavi Hernandez, who didn' t play last week accompanying Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets in the middle of the park.

Editor: Bi Mingxin
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