Koeman says it was important for Barça president Laporta to back him
Here's everything the Barcelona coach had to say in his press conference on Saturday
Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman didn't have to speak to the media after Saturday's defeat to Atletico Madrid but chose to do so.
Koeman was serving a touchline ban, which meant he was excused from press duties, but he decided to fulfill them anyway after president Joan Laporta publicly backed him earlier in the day.
Here's a transcript of the press conference which followed Barça's 2-0 loss to Atletico in LaLiga.
Is the defence or the attack more worrying?
"Both things, because we can't leave so much space when we lose the ball. We spoke before this game about that. If we play with four defenders and have two centre-backs marking two forwards, in midfield you have to follow your man. In this sense, Nico leaves space for Lemar for the first goal. Now you understand why sometimes we have played with three at the back, because like this leaves too much space. We have pace in midfield like (Atletico with) Llorente, Lemar. We have to keep going. It's hard to accept because sometimes, losing 1-0, they can play their game. And we know, even having everyone available, it would be difficult to create against them. They defend very well. It's true we lack people wide to open the pitch more. It's difficult to create. We had one or two clear chances, but we have to score them."
Laporta has backed you.
"It's good. There wasn't clarity in that sense. We spoke last night on the phone and then this morning, on the team, the club. I asked the club to make it clear on the coach's position because it's very important for confidence of the coach and so that the dressing room knows what the situation is. The president took the decision, made it clear to everyone, but I know we're Barça and we have to win games."
What changed so much?
"The only thing that I can say is that it's a question for the president. We spoke about the team's situation, I've given my view on how things are. I have confidence in improving, above all in attack where we're lacking players that we don't have, playing wide players that are midfielders. Today and before, we have not been able to play as we want. It's getting the best out of the players that are available. But it's a question for the president, not for me."
Who called who?
"It's never too late to make things clear, that's important. If with me as the coach or not, it's important because can't work without clarity in that sense."
How much credit?
"I don't know how much credit I have. It's always complicated because results always count. Now we have three games at home, Valencia and Real Madrid with the Dynamo Kiev game in the Champions League -- where we have to take nine points from next three to get through -- in between. We have two weeks before then. I haven't risked Alba today to make sure we have him in two weeks. I hope Ansu Fati in two weeks is better physically. I hope Aguero, Dembele are close to coming back. More options in attack. That's what we need. Players with quality, different from what we have. Also, we have to correct the mistakes we have made today. Two goals when they've found space which we have lost, which cannot happen."
Do you feel backed?
"Yes, I feel backed, of course. That's why I spoke with the president, but I also know it depends on results, which is the case for any manager."
"Yes, of course, 2-1 would have made it more difficult for them and we have confidence. Coutinho and Lemar had similar chances; they scored we didn't. Maybe they would have been nervous, maybe we'd have got something."
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