NEWS
Wednesday February 26 2014
Iniesta: We’re behind Martino

Andres Iniesta has insisted Tata Martino has the full support of the Barcelona squad following the 3-1 defeat to Real Sociedad.

Barca were left three points behind Real Madrid in the League table after going down at Anoeta on Saturday, with Martino send to the stands for the second half after an altercation in the tunnel at half time.

But according to AS, Iniesta dismissed any notion Martino didn’t have the backing of the Barca players.

“It was a tough defeat, but we’re with him all the way,” Iniesta said.

“We don’t have any doubts. It has to be kept in mind that he always wants the best for the team.

“At the end of the day, everyone has to take responsibility for [losing to La Real]. When you win and lose, it’s the players who have to go out and play the match.

“Things happened, but it wasn’t only Barca or the coaching staff there [in the tunnel]. There were a lot of people there.”

Iniesta added that despite falling behind Madrid, the season was far from over.

“From now on, every game is like a cup final,” Iniesta continued.

“We’re one game from going top, we have to face Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid and we have to look after our side of the job.”

Iniesta was asked about rumours Carles Puyol would be forced to retire at the end of the season and said that while he hopes they’re false, he would like Puyol to remain part of the set-up when his playing days end.

“I hope this isn’t the last season with Puyol in the team,” Iniesta said.

“I’d like to have him in the dressing room for a very long time.”

On the Neymar case, Iniesta said he could only hope for a quick conclusion the a long-running saga.

“I hope all the noise created around the case lasts for as little time as possible,” the midfielder said.

“Neymar seems in good spirits to me. It would be better to talk about football.”

Iniesta was last asked about a former Barca teammate, Thiago Alcantara, who could make Vicente Del Bosque’s Spain squad for the World Cup.

“Thiago has a lot of quality,” Iniesta said.

“He has already been included by the national Coach, both with a view to the present and the future.”

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