Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Martino unwilling to change Barca style

SoccerNews in La Liga 17 Apr 2014

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Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino insists it is too hard to change his team’s style as their under-par season continued on Wednesday.

The La Liga giants suffered a 2-1 loss to Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final, increasing the chances of them finishing without a trophy this season.

In typical Barcelona fashion, Martino’s men had 65 per cent of the possession, but it meant nothing as Gareth Bale scored a stunning 85th-minute winner.

The under-fire Martino said changing Barcelona’s style was not an option.

“Barca have a way of playing that is hard to modify,” he told a news conference.

“There are no long balls for a pure number nine, we’re a team that passes the ball, elaborates plays and when we aren’t precise in finding space, the game becomes uncomfortable for us.

“When we don’t score first things get complicated.”

Angel Di Maria had given Real an 11th-minute lead at the Estadio de Mestalla, but Marc Bartra levelled for Barca midway through the second half.

Bale’s winner, which came after an explosive run down the left, saw Real to their win.

Despite the loss, Martino said it meant nothing in regards to his future – with Barca still chasing an unlikely La Liga title as they sit third and four points behind leaders Atletico Madrid.

“I feel a profound sorrow for the defeat and for the fans who have supported us,” he said.

“This team still has a long way to go and plenty of positive things to do.

“I feel how I have to in situations like this, bad, because I don’t think there are many ways the defeat can be more painful, but my future doesn’t depend on this result.”

Martino said Barcelona had an ‘obligation’ to their fans to continue fighting.

“We have to derive strength where there is none. We have the obligation to continue fighting until the final moment,” he said.

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