Martino wants big response from Barca
Gerardo Martino says Barcelona have a chance to bounce back from a difficult week in Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semifinal first leg against Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou.
Barca suffered a first La Liga home defeat for almost two years in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Valencia, with Martino’s side slipping off the top of the Primera Division standings for the first time in over 18 months in the process -- leading to widespread alarm in the Catalan media.
But the Blaugrana boss told his prematch news conference after training on Tuesday that he and his squad are not going to let one bad performance affect them.
“We are going to leave behind the defeat to Valencia,” Martino said. “One game can send you up to heaven, and another send you down to hell. But I do not find either heaven or hell, I look for a balance. We are still up there towards the top of the table.”
Martino also said he does not feel under any more pressure than usual after Saturday’s defeat as coaching such a big club always brings with it stresses and strains.
“Since the day I arrived at Barcelona until today, the pressure is the same,” he said. “There is the same pressure every day. And I would say that until my days end here at Barcelona then the pressure will be the same. I am fine with that, maybe I sleep a little less, but I have adapted. When I come in through the door I know what to expect.”
Unlike in previous Copa rounds when a few regular starters have been rested, while reserves such as Alex Song, Adriano Correia, Sergi Roberto and Martin Montoya have come into the side, Martino has decided to include all available first-team players in his squad for Wedneday's game against La Real.
Martino said this is down to the difficulty and level of the opposition, while adding that it is important for Barca to bounce back from the weekend’s disappointment.
“The squad of 22 players has to do with the difficulty of the game, and that I have not yet decided who will play,” he said. “Whenever there is a defeat, the following game is an opportunity for vindication. We have to show a different face than in the second half against Valencia.”