‘Sometimes you have to be practical’

Gerard Pique has defended Barcelona’s style of play this season under Tata Martino, insisting that ‘sometimes you have to be practical’.

The Blaugrana have come in for some criticism this term having ceded their tiki taka principles somewhat for a more pragmatic style.

However, the defender has claimed the Camp Nou club are still producing on the pitch, as their unbeaten start shows.

“When a game or circumstances require it, you have to be practical. I know the people want us to play well and score lots of goals, but that’s not always possible”, he told Barca TV after their 1-0 win over Espanyol on Friday.

“Historically these are the kind of games Barça [against Espanyol] didn’t win, and that cost us titles and Leagues.

“It’s because this is such a huge club where people question things, and what they’re questioning at the moment is the way the team plays.

“There are only about 15 really good games a year. There are days when tiredness tells more than others, and it’s hard for the team.

“We have to keep intelligent. We’re very practical. Perhaps we haven’t played very, very well, but the results have still been very good”.

Pique then commented on Barcelona’s impressive defensive record, having only conceded seven goals in 12 matches.

“The team has learned to cope with pressure on the defence and we’re not letting in many goals. That’s because we’re doing things right.

“As for myself, I’m fine, very fine, as always. It’s my sixth year in the team and it’s all going well. I’ve had a few fitness problems but I’ve managed to pull through”.

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