Enrique ‘not a dog marking territory’

Luis Enrique has rejected accusations he has a problem with strong characters in the Barcelona locker room.

The father of Bojan accused Enrique of dropping the squad’s more forthright members in an effort to exert his authority.

Speaking at a Press conference prior to the game against Rayo Vallecano, Enrique rejected the charge, insisting that his approach is designed to produce the best possible results.

“I respect someone else’s interpretations but I don’t share them,” Enrique said, AS reports.

“I’m not a hunting dog marking my territory. The objective is always the same: get the best overall performance. I’m sure I get things wrong a lot.

“Xavi not happy on the bench? The goal of every player is to start, whether they’re 20 or 34. They want to start to help the team.

“I love that the players can be rebellious because they want to help. When he does play you’ll be asking me why it’s not [Ivan] Rakitic or [Andres] Iniesta.”

Gerard Pique is one of the big names routinely left out by Enrique but despite his lack of game time, the centre-back has returned to the Spain set-up, with his Coach’s backing.

“I think it’s great. It tells you about the stature of the players we have,” Enrique added.

“His situation is the same as the rest of the defenders. Nothing has changed.

“There are many things that go to being a Barca defender. They have different qualities – fast, strong, big. I’m content with the profiles of the players I have.

“The team is always evolving. Our opponents have an influence but we don’t measure things in percentages.

“I’m delighted with the team. Despite the mistakes made [against Paris Saint-Germain] we were totally committed and we’re on the right path.”

Tags Luis Enrique