Martino ‘responsible for Barca season’

Tata Martino has admitted he feels responsible for what has thus far been a disappointing season for Barcelona.

La Blaugrana are out of the Champions League, lost the Copa del Rey final to Real Madrid and trail Atletico Madrid in La Liga by four points.

Barca are above Madrid in the table but have played a game more than Los Blancos. Should Madrid win their game in hand then Barca would return to third place.

Speaking at a Press conference after Barca beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1 on Sunday, Martino was asked if he stood by comments made prior to the game in which he revealed he wasn’t happy with his performance as Coach.

“The least we can do is engage with the hope of winning. Now we need Atletico and Real Madrid to fail,” AS reports the Argentine saying.

“If we win the League it will make a difference but I don’t think it will change my opinion. I am picky and so I raised the point that Barca usually win and after I’ve arrived they don’t win, and that I feel responsible.”

Martino was asked if he would prefer to see Atletico remain in the Champions League after their semi-final with Chelsea in the hope to extra exertion gives Barca a hand in the title race.

“If they continue they’ll be more tired but I don’t think physical fatigue is that important,” he replied.

“If a metre has 90 positive centimetres and 10 negative then the 10 negative has the merit. But I’ll stick with the 90 positive.”

Martino was asked about the game against Athletic and said Barca went into the fixture looking to improve on a week that saw defeat to Granada prior to the Copa del Rey reverse.

“I don’t think the win was a triumph of free-flowing football. Barca find it very difficult to win without playing well,” the Coach said.

“We had a lot of heart and wanted to turn around a difficult week that got worse with the Athletic goal.

“Going behind caused us to create a lot of chances but we couldn’t convert them. Our failure or success was due to the crossbar or the goalkeeper and it’s not common.

“We have a good team but we found the week we’ve experienced made things more difficult. The good thing today was that the defeat to Granada didn’t affect us.

“Today we had higher quality assists and were able to turn the game around.”

Cesc Fabregas was however whistled by the Camp Nou crowd but Martino dismissed the targeting of the midfielder as a concern.

“I’ve no opinion of the whistles at Cesc. He has great character and always wants to play, always wants the ball and isn’t afraid to make mistakes. He is brave,” Martino said.

Tags Tata Martino