Barcelona coach Quique Setien has come under pressure since their 2-2 draw away at Celta Vigo on Saturday, a result that allowed Real Madrid to go two points clear at the top of La Liga by beating Espanyol.
Setien insists his relationship with the players is good, despite reports of unrest in the dressing room and tension between Lionel Messi and Setien’s assistant, Eder Sarabia.
Footage appeared to show Messi pointedly ignoring Sarabia, with the Argentinian turning away from Setien’s number two as he tried to give him instructions during a cooling break.
A lack of togetherness comes at a bad time given Barcelona host in-form Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, when another slip could effectively concede the title.
“There are always controversies, like in life, because we all have our own way of seeing things and thinking,” said Setien in a press conference on Monday.
“But this is normal. I was not an easy player to deal with either. You have your own vision and the important thing is to convince everyone to defend a common cause.
“But I see it as something natural. I think the communication is good and I don’t attach importance to specific incidents.”
On the suggestion of arguments in the dressing room after the match, Setien said: “We are concerned with more general aspects. The relationship with the players is good. There are specific moments when there may be differences of opinion but I don’t perceive any problem that is worth mentioning, far from it.”
Setien confirmed another meeting took place with the players on Sunday.
Barcelona have been accused in the past of pandering to senior players like Messi, Pique and Sergio Busquets.
Asked if they have too much power, Setien said: “We all have to sacrifice a part of ourselves for the good of the team.’’
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