Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova believes his team suffered last season because of a lack of competition in La Liga.
Barca amassed a record-equalling 100-point tally in league competition, winning back the title from Real Madrid having led the table for the majority of the campaign.
And the 44-year-old feels a tighter title race would have helped them in other competitions, but still praised his side for reaching their landmark haul.
“We fell short,” Vilanova was quoted as saying by AS.
“The difficulty is that we didn’t have pressure on us for more time. The year that Madrid got 100 points, we got 91.
“When we got 99, Madrid had 96. Once we were Liga champions, it would be normal to have lost a game and not reach 100 points.
“This clearly demonstrates the competitive spirit of the team.”
Barca got their Liga campaign under way with a 5-1 victory over Real Sociedad and Vilanova believes that result was key to the players accepting him as Pep Guardiola’s replacement.
“It was very important and it was very difficult,” he said.
“Until that moment, the players had seen me as the assistant coach and they accepted me as the main man.”