FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has refused to exert the pressure of filling the void left due to injury to Messi to Neymar, stating that the Argentine is the “leader” of his side and there cannot be constant changes to that.
FC Barcelona have been coping with the loss of Lionel Messi to a knee injury that has sidelined that Argentina star till November.
Neymar scored four, two of which were penalties he himself won, while also assisting Luis Suarez’s goal as FC Barcelona ran out 5-2 winners at the weekend against Rayo Vallecano.
Messi, not Neymar, the leader at FC Barcelona
Taking the pressure off the 23-year old Brazil star, Luis Enrique said that Lionel Messi was the main player of his side and that is something that does not keep changing with circumstances.
Speaking ahead of the BATE tie, Luis Enrique was quoted saying by Goal.com: “We try to work as a group. We have our leader in Leo Messi, we cannot seek new leaders constantly.”
Luis Enrique hoping to solve defensive problems
The Catalans have kept just two clean sheets in all competition so far this season, relying on their attack to win games.
“What is important is our path throughout the season, we are aware that we need to improve,” Luis Enrique added.
“When we have a defensive situation in which we are conceding too many goals, it is not just a problem in the defence, but the entire team, starting with the coach.
“We never stop trying to find solutions as a group and we are working every week. In our last game I think the problems were solved.”
The Catalans have conceded a whooping 22 goals in 13 games this season. While they have had major injury problems in the defensive areas, the defensive record has to improve or Barcelona may find it difficult to become the first team to win back-to-back Champions League tie.
They need to win their two games against BATE, having drawn against Roma in Rome and edging out Bayer Leverkusen at Camp Nou in order to ensure that they come out of the group as winners.