we will learn from Alaves defeat – Barcelona coach
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said they will have last week’s surprise home defeat to Alaves at the forefront of their minds when they visit La Liga newcomers Leganes on Saturday.
Madrid outfit Leganes are playing their first season in Spain’s top flight after securing promotion, but have already sprung a few surprises, winning at Celta Vigo and holding Champions League runners up Atletico Madrid to a goalless draw.
After Barca were dealt a nasty surprise at home to promoted Alaves, losing 2-1 after the coach made eight changes to the team, Luis Enrique believes they will be extra careful on Saturday.
“I’m here to remind the players of how well teams like Leganes can play. Alaves were also a team we thought were worse than us and look what happened,” the coach told a news conference on Friday.
“The best way to remind them of that is to look at the Alaves game. We know if we don’t play at our best at Leganes, we won’t win.”
Barcelona thrashed Celtic 7-0 on Tuesday in the Champions League, the club’s biggest ever win in the competition, with a vastly different starting lineup to the one that lost to Alaves.
Luis Enrique did not say whether he was planning on fielding a full-strength team against Leganes, but reiterated the importance of rotating his squad over the course of the season.
“Every player is aware that with a fixture list of over 60 games in a season it’s practically impossible for a player to play 90 minutes in every game,” he said.
“But Barca is always the same team. We don’t have an A team or a B team, or an H or J or Z team. We have 11 men wearing Barca shirts and every player that wears a Barca shirt offers the same thing.”
The coach was also not complaining about his side playing in La Liga’s new 1300 local time slot for the first time.
“It’s a different time to what we’re used to and we have to adapt to it. It’s the same time for both teams so there’ll be no excuses from us,” the coach added. “We can choose to either find results or excuses, and we prefer to find results.”