Marc-Andre ter Stegen not at fault for Barcelona conceding - Luis Enrique
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has backed under-fire goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, saying the team has been conceding goals through general collective mistakes, not down to one player's performances.
Barca's shock 4-1 defeat at Celta Vigo on Wednesday pointed the spotlight firmly on their rocky defence -- with the Catalan side having already conceded four times on three occasions in the early weeks of the 2015-16 season.
Much of the criticism has focused on the form of Ter Stegen, who was beaten four times from five shots on target against Celta, and who has twice already this year been caught out by shots from over 50 metres.
Ter Stegen conceded just 16 goals in his 15 appearances last term while this campaign has begun with the German beaten 15 times in six outings.
Pushed on such statistics, the Blaugrana coach said in a pregame news conference that critics were missing the point, and he was not looking to get the club's other senior goalkeeper, Claudio Bravo, back quickly from his current injury.
"I don't know what you have said or written," Luis Enrique said. "Criticism forms part of the DNA of this club, and his position he is judged in a special way.
"Goals are not conceded by Ter Stegen or Claudio Bravo, but by the whole team.
"I know that Claudio is recovering well, but have not thought about if he is ready to return early."
Luis Enrique said he hoped the shock of the defeat to Celta would make Barca understand how difficult it would be to repeat last season's successes.
"We hope the defeat in Vigo works as a push -- so that we realise what is needed in modern football to win games and trophies," he said. "Athletic beat us deservedly by four goals, and Celta deservedly beat us by [three] goals. There, we had 17 chances, but were not good in defence.
"The defence is not just the goalkeeper and the back four, but everyone. The problem in Vigo was above all in the transitions, when we were not well positioned and we made the wrong decisions."
After the game at Balaidos, Luis Enrique had lamented his team missing plenty of chances over the 90 minutes. Barca's superstar front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez have the relatively low number of just seven goals between them over the first six La Liga and Champions League fixtures.
The Asturian coach said his team were creating as many opportunities at last year but needed to correct their current efficiency in front of goal.
"I tend to measure the effectiveness depending on what is created, to see how things are going," he said. "We are creating as much as last season, but we do not convert as many. I have no doubt at all that we will soon get those goals back.
"It is still curious that we are scoring so few goals. There have been individual errors, and team errors, so there are things to correct. We must look at it among us all -- the coach is also there for that."
Luis Enrique also gave some team news ahead of Saturday's La Liga game against Las Palmas at the Camp Nou, suggesting Jordi Alba was fit again to come back in at left-back, while young forward Sandro Ramirez will also return to contention for the game against the 12th-placed Canary Islands team.
"I still have to make the list, but [Alba and Sandro] are ready [to return]," he said.