Ronald Koeman: “We know we can’t lose”

Barcelona‘s clash with Granada this weekend is of real importance to their hopes at turning a floundering season into something of real significance.

The Blaugrana travel to Los Carmenes tomorrow evening to lock horns with a Granada team currently sitting in seventh, seven points behind them with a game in hand.

Barcelona’s best performance of the season was just a few days ago, when they came back from a goal down to beat Athletic Club 3-2 at San Mames thanks to a virtuoso performance from Lionel Messi and his assistant, Pedri.

Lionel Messi

The victory took the Catalans to third, while the manner of the performance inspired many fans to hope that this Barcelona team has something about them after all. Messi looked to enjoy his football on the night, linking well with Pedri, Frenkie de Jong and Ousmane Dembele to score a brace and provide a pre-assist.

Ronald Koeman, speaking pre-match, was clearly content with his team’s recent run of form but simultaneously wary of complacency setting in against a difficult opponent.

“It’s another game and you can’t trust the results of other days,” Koeman said in comments carried by Marca. “It’s another rival, another ground. If we’re not at our level, the opposition can complicate the game a lot. You have to be humble and do things well with and without the ball, and show personality on the pitch.”

Barcelona’s trip to Andalusia will be their third away game in a week, after consecutive victories at Huesca and Athletic. If they can pull off a third, it would be serious grounds for optimism.

Lionel Messi

“We knew it would be a tough week with three away games,” Koeman said. “We have to recover and show that we still can do it, both to ourselves and others. We aren’t in a situation where more points can be lost. There’s great pressure – we know that we can’t lose. Because of our position, we can’t lose more.”

Regarding ambitions for the season, Koeman was noncommittal. But he did admit that he only has eyes for one scalp – that of Atletico Madrid, the league leaders who Barcelona will come to within four points of should results this weekend go their way.

“I look at the team in first,” Koeman said. “Atletico Madrid have been very strong in the championship, they concede few goals and they have players who can go and score and win games. It’s very complicated. You have to realistic, but if you win a game you’re just four points off.”

Tags Barcelona Granada La Liga Ronald Koeman