Javier Mascherano has reflected on the sharp change in perception at Barcelona this month and on how each player ‘must do more’.
La Blaugrana are on a run of three defeats from the last four games, including a 2-0 loss to Milan in the first leg of their Champions League Last 16 tie, and two consecutive losses in Cup and League to Real Madrid.
“Three weeks ago this place was like Disney and now it is the house of horrors. In Madrid everything was burning three weeks ago and now it is all happiness,” reflected Mascherano at today’s Press conference.
“We must restore our style of play to pick up better results. When you go for a week or two with bad results, having been knocked out of the Cup and having lost the Clasico, obviously one is not good, but we cannot stay like that.
“The best way is thinking of all that we have, to be positive. We have many things to improve and we are working.
“What is wrong? We all have to do more so as to get out of this run of results, but we must not go crazy. We must have the humility to find peace and work out what is going wrong and go back to being the team we were three weeks ago.
“We all have to give a little more, we are in an unusual situation.
“There are triggers that are occurring. First impact was the news of Tito and all that has happened since, and in the end you start to feel that over time. The team has been dealing with many things. But we have to get out of this situation and overcome it.
“We are not tired of winning, there could not be more pressure than there is at this club. It’s a matter of trust. When you lose two games it seems that the world is ending and trust betrays you a little.
“We must return to our foundations. A companion is ill, the leader. It is not a vacation he is on in New York, we have to help each other.”
Mascherano was asked of the team’s ability to keep in contact with Coach Tito Vilanova, who is currently still in New York continuing treatment for cancer.
“Yes we have spoken to him. Since he has been over there he has maintained the relationship with the players. I have personally spoken to him a week ago. He is eager to be with us, but the priority is to try to determine the treatment and to be healed. That is most important.
“Jordi Roura? This is not a situation we were planning for. Jordi would love to not be going through this situation.
“He has shown great personality to take this on. He has had the courage and the squad has great admiration for him for how he's handled the situation. Here we don't blame anyone.
“The team didn't start to lose when Tito went to New York, it's the same as last year, when we won matches and lost matches with our Coach. When the results do not come it seems as if everything crumbles.”
The Argentine spoke up for compatriot Lionel Messi, who has come under scrutiny for also struggling for form.
“If you judge him because of recent games, where instead of 10 goals we have scored three… He also didn’t score against Milan and against Real Madrid, but the analysis must go deeper.
“With all the records that he has achieved and that he continues to achieve, you cannot judge him because he has not come out on form, we are all wrong.
“If anyone doubts this club, look at the statistics from recent years. It is easier to sell the problem, but these situations make us stronger.
“Success, as one Coach once told me, deforms you. It makes you feel better than you are and these difficult situations make you stronger.”