Tata Martino says that Barcelona will be aiming for the win and performance against Celtic, as he reflects on recent pressure on the team.
The Catalans head into Group H’s closing fixture tomorrow evening needing just a point to secure top spot and with their Coach clear that a win is best to aim for.
“Given the consequences at Barcelona every game, it is always important to win and to finish first,” Martino has reflected to reporters today.
“And to put in a good performance. We have to move away from the possibility of playing games in too much comfort. All matches have consequences, more negative than positive.
“This is a game to follow up on what we did the other day [against Cartagena in the Copa del Rey] and it is a game that we can look to play better in and give us peace of mind as finishing group leaders. This match will be very important for us.
“We will need to be particularly precise in the development and movement of the ball. We will have to be effective, we will have to press after losing the ball to avoid counter-attacks.
“Celtic will surely have an impact if we do not pressure them high up the pitch.”
Yesterday saw the club’s coaching staff and playing squad eat together at La Masia for an Argentine barbeque.
It was reported to be Martino’s idea to help bond the team after recent defeats to Ajax and Athletic Bilbao brought increased scrutiny on them.
“It is apparently novel, as I saw that it occupied a number of news outlets. We had fun eating together. I did not see the bill, I did not pay.
“The initiative was everyone’s. Evidently there are different ways to analyse different forms of eating. Some could have called yesterday archaic.
“We feel it is something that has value. The union of the team comes in defeat. The binding of the team comes during the bad moments.
“I am not aware that the players have felt pressured by what is happening outside. Whenever a team loses two games a warning light comes on.
“Evidently we played the match against Cartagena understanding where we came from and how the previous week had been.
“The best version of Barca? There has been a game where we were pretty close to what I and the team can give, and there have been other games where we have been far away.
“When we achieve greater consistency is when we will approach our best version.
“We have talked enough after the two defeats. The discussions with the group have left me thoroughly satisfied. After that the team has played with a lot of pride and that has been the correct way to do it.
“I am not talking about how to play the game. Sometimes you can play decently in response to some changes. We came from a difficult week and acted accordingly.”