Following the disappointment of defeat at Anfield and Champions League elimination in midweek, Ernesto Valverde faced the press to discuss his future and the pain his team have been suffering ahead of this weekend’s duel with Getafe.
The coach has faced criticism for the manner of which his Barcelona side crashed to a 4-0 defeat to Liverpool, having won the first leg 3-0.
“I feel strong, I’m good,” he insisted when asked about his future.
“I want to take the next step, I won’t hide behind a rock.
“I feel like I’m in the Great Escape, they’ve just caught me and I’m in the punishment cell, I want to play tomorrow’s match.
“I’ve spoken to the president and he has always made me feel supported.
“After a blow like that, everything wobbles, we know what this show is like, if something like this happens you have to break and burn it all, but then you have to put it all back in its place.
“[Josep Maria Bartomeu] has given me his complete support.”
He is not the only one to be hurting as he admitted that his players had felt the impact of defeat too.
“We’re hurting, I won’t deny it, we have a responsibility to ourselves and our fans,” the coach admitted.
“We can lose a knock-out tie, the problem is how we lost it, we weren’t good in the second half, it has been painful, there’s no other option but to look forwards and we have to take the next step.
“It feels like our legs weigh more, but there’s no other way to get over this than to get on with it.
“The bad weighs the most because it’s the most recent, the defeat wasn’t 1-0, it was 4-0 and it matters at clubs like this, this group has the ability to excite people.”
Reflecting on the tie, the former Athletic Club and Olympiacos coach confessed that he has not seen Tuesday night’s defeat back.
“I haven’t seen the game but I have it clear, you always analyse, how was the start, we were playing like we could score, we knew they would come out to score and they did it and we sat back,” he said.
“But the goals back to back were gut-wrenching and then the fourth… If they score four against you and the analysis is in the background.”
Some players in particular faced criticism, including club record signing Philippe Coutinho.
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, the season isn’t over, there’s still a game left which is a title, we went for the treble, and we’ve got to May with the chance to do it, we hope that Coutinho can help us win,” he said when asked about the Brazilian.