Andres Iniesta has reflected that Barcelona’s mini-slump is the result of neither one thing nor the other, so the team must recover the basics of their game.
Barca followed up last midweek’s 2-0 defeat in Milan in the Champions League Last 16 first leg with a 3-1 home reverse to Real Madrid on Tuesday evening, to be eliminated from the Copa del Rey at the semi-final stage.
“When things are not going well, it is because we have not done things right. I won’t get into the mistake of not looking at us. We have not done things right to win, that’s for sure,” Iniesta began at today’s Press conference.
“That is the perception that we have to see and work at currently. For that we have our Coaches who we trust.
“It can be said that it is the system or it is tired players that are not working, but it is not that the team has given up, that they do not want it.
“That will never happen. But rivals also play their game and we have to overcome it, we have to be optimistic.
“Whether the players are tired or it is the system, the game against Milan will be like a Cup final and we must come out from the start as if our lives depend on it. I’m confident we can knock them out.
“It is not that we cannot play, it is that we are trying and other circumstance beyond us are in play, like our opponents. It’s a matter of moments, feelings.
“In these two specific games, which were important, the opponent has won. We lacked a little bit extra, but not a precise thing.
“When a team does not work it is a matter of everything. From back to front and front to back. There are opponents who play differently and you have to adapt.
“Obviously goals are needed, we have scored a lot of goals and Leo is very prominent. These two games have been key, we lacked freshness and finesse in attack.
“The situations are what they are and the feeling of compactness and infallibility are what is lacking. We need to recapture that feeling.
“When we are in a good dynamic, we create more chances. In these two games we missed that. We must recover the ABCs of football because that is what has led us to become the team that we are today.”
The midfielder was asked of the impact Tito Vilanova’s continued absence is having on the dressing room.
“It would be a lie if I said that it did not hurt us, it is natural and logical that not having the figure of our head Coach is not easy. These are difficult situations and to the team the figure of the Coach is important.
“I know that there is all this technology and the Coach has done his best with it to remain in contact. It is not a case that because we have lost these games that we will ask Tito back.
“His health is the priority and we trust the coaching staff that are here. We hope that when Tito comes back we still have our comfortable league lead and are still alive in the Champions League.
“The elimination from the Copa del Rey? We have to look at it with some perspective. Let's not forget that we're top of the League and we have a healthy lead.
“It hurts us all to lose a Copa del Rey semi-final to Real Madrid, but we knew it wouldn't be easy. It's not only about winning the treble and lapping up all the praise – when things don't go well we have to stick at it.”