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Neymar focused on turning Barca around – Luis Enrique

Luis Enrique insists Neymar is fully focused on turning around Barcelona’s plummeting form.

The Brazil superstar has failed to score in his past five club games, with Barcelona losing all three of those in La Liga to surrender their lead at the top of the table.

They are now level on points with Atletico Madrid – their quarter-final conquerors in the Champions League quarter-finals when, once again, Neymar could find no way through.

The 24-year-old’s recent displays have come in for criticism, while he finds himself at the centre of a club-versus-country row after the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) pledged to fight for Barcelona to release their star man for both the Copa America Centenario and Rio Olympic Games later this year.

Neymar was also caught up in an altercation with Valencia’s Antonio Barragan after the 2-1 weekend loss at Camp Nou but Luis Enrique is still backing his player ahead of Wednesday’s crucial trip to Deportivo La Coruna.

“Neymar is worried [only] about playing his game tomorrow,” Luis Enrique told a pre-match news conference.

“That’s all I’m worried about. There are other times to discuss these other matters.”

Luis Enrique flatly refused to comment on a question regarding a lack of squad rotation contributing to his virtuoso forward trio of Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi lacking their usual potency.

The coach, who will be without suspended defender Gerard Pique at Deportivo, views Barcelona’s drop off in form as an unfortunate inevitability of top-flight football.

“Is there some kind of a magical solution? That’s football – you know that expression, it’s the beautiful game of football.

“If it was always the team who had the best players who won then this would be an incredibly dull sport.

“It’s my job now is to turn a negative streak into a positive streak and that’s difficult. As you can see, so far we have not managed to do it.”

“We have a maximum difficulty situation at the moment and at Deportivo, things will not be easy.

“It is never easy at that stadium but if we win we will then think about the next game. I think it is important that we rebuild confidence.”

Tue 19 Apr, 2016
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