Luis Enrique says team wants to beat Deportivo

Luis Enrique heads to the press room at the Ciutat Esportiva on Tuesday. / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The FC Barcelona manager appears before the media a little over 24 hours ahead of Wednesday’s match at Riazor

With FC Barcelona facing five more games that will almost certainly be decisive in the race for the La Liga title, manager Luis Enrique Martínez leads his players into a big road encounter Wednesday night at Deportivo knowing they’ll need to win to guarantee they stay atop the table.

“The first thing we want is to win at Depor and grow our confidence,” he said. “Winning away is always difficult and even more so in our situation, but we will try to exploit weaknesses of a team that defends very well.”

Riazor, he said, “is a tough stadium to play in and where their fans provide a lot of support.”

Luis Enrique is also aware that the last two clashes that have played against the Galicians both ended in 2–2 draws.

“We don’t have such great memories, but we know that we have different resources to create problems for them,” he said. “I hope we play as well as we did against Valencia. That would be a good sign.”


On Wednesday the team will be without centre-back Gerard Piqué, who will be serving a one-game ban for yellow card accumulation. Add that to injuries to Thomas Vermaelen and Jérémy Mathieu, and it appears Marc Bartra may get the nod on Barça’s back line.

“It’s always difficult for a player not to be able to play as often as he wants, but in this case I have to say Bartra has handled it very professionally and he has remained prepared,” the coach said. “I have the utmost confidence in him and he deserves this opportunity and I’m sure he’ll play well, they way he knows how.”

On the team’s recent woes, the FCB manager was unequivocal. “I have nothing to reproach,” he said. “Whoever wins the league will have been the best team over all 38 games.”

I have nothing to reproach the team for over the last few games.