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Mar 8, 2014

Tata Martino: Barca will still fight for title

Despite an unexpected setback at Real Valladolid, Gerardo Martino insists Barcelona will still fight for the La Liga title.

After their strong start under Martino in his first season, Barcelona have dropped points in five of the past nine rounds, culminating with a 1-0 loss away to Valladolid on Saturday.

Gerardo Martino is not conceding the La Liga title to Barcelona's rivals in Madrid.

Corrigan: Three things
Ledwith: Alarm bells
Train: Real's title to lose

With 11 matches to go, Barcelona sit in third place, one point behind Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

Real have a game in hand before hosting Levante on Sunday, but Martino is not ready to concede the title.

"As long as it is mathematically possible we will keep fighting," said Martino. "We are not in our best form, and we have to rediscover it within 15 days. We are worried because the league title is being decided right now."

Barcelona still host both of their title rivals, beginning with Real Madrid in two weeks, and concluding the season against Atletico.

Dani Alves said no Barcelona player has given up hope of winning the title.

"No one has said goodbye to the League," Alves told reporters after the match at Nuevo Jose Zorrilla. "One of our main features is to fight right until the end. No one is giving up."

Next up for the Blaugrana is Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday. Barcelona bring a two-goal lead back to the Camp Nou, but Xavi Hernandez said the club must find a way to change their ways before the second leg.

"We can't draw any positive conclusions from that result and performance," he told Carrusel Deportivo. "We have to try and improve ahead of Wednesday.

"It’s a very painful loss –- definitely a step back for us."

Martino agreed, saying that Barcelona struggled to keep a foothold in Saturday's match.

"We struggled with our mobility, especially in the final 20 meters of the pitch," Martino said. "We couldn't find the space. We had a lot of the ball, but lacked any depth.

"It is clear from today that we are not at our best. And we need to be at our best against Real Madrid."

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