Gerard Pique calls for stability at Barcelona and says team CAN fight for LaLiga title after 0-0 draw in Cadiz… while defender warns club against Ronald Koeman sacking even after no wins in three games
- Barcelona’s Gerard Pique said the club must remain calm after a 0-0 draw in Cadiz
- He seemed to warn against firing under fire coach Ronald Koeman
- “It doesn’t help the team if there is no unit,” said the veteran defender
- Frenkie de Jong was sent off from Cadiz while Memphis Depay missed three sitters
- Piqué also lashed out at LaLiga organizers over Barca’s hectic schedule
Gerard Pique called for calm after Barcelona dropped two more points in the Spanish title race and insisted the team can compete for the league this season.
His comments came after Barcelona’s 0-0 draw against Cadiz, and before coach Ronald Koeman insisted that the players still work hard for him.
Pique said: “We’ve had a presidential change and coaches lately and what we need is stability. We all need to pull in the same direction. It doesn’t help the team if there’s no unit.’
Gerard Pique shows his frustration during Barca’s 0-0 draw on Thursday in Cadiz in LaLiga
Pique called for unity at Barcelona after the team failed to win a third consecutive game
Barcelona’s enthusiasm showed when it fell to ten men and that attitude was echoed by Pique, who complained about the schedules that saw Barcelona play twice in the same midweek.
“I don’t know who runs the games, but I don’t understand why we had to play on Monday and then again on Thursday,” he said. “We have five games with 12 days of rest. It’s not a complaint, but I hope the league looks at it.”
Of the 0-0 draw he said: ‘Nobody would have taken a draw, but then it depends on the context and with 10 men everything changed. We competed with one player less. We don’t like not to win and we really needed the win, but I’m proud of the way the team played.
Frenkie de Jong was sent off for Barca and Pique said: ‘With 10 men everything changed’
Barcelona was furious with referee Carlos del Cerro Grande after De Jong was sent off
“I’m here to win and I’m convinced we’re competing. It’s difficult for everyone, but I’m sure we’ll win on Sunday and fight to the end.”
Koeman added: “I’m happy with the point. We were better than them until departure, then we had more problems. We had the clearer chances with Memphis, but we couldn’t take them.
“The feeling I have with the team is very good and the players showed today that we are working hard. We miss things up front, but the attitude tonight was very good.’
Barcelona will not have Koeman in his technical room against Levante on Sunday after his red card late on, but Barcelona sporting director Ramon Planas confirmed he would still be in charge.
Earlier, Laporta had already confirmed that Koeman would not be fired if he lost to Cadiz. The Barcelona president said: “Koeman’s future does not depend on tonight’s outcome. We’re with the coach. He is the coach of the first team of Barça and we want him to be well.”
Laporta even defended Koeman’s decision to read a statement at his pre-match press conference on Wednesday: “He is required to attend the press conference and is free to respond (to questions) or express himself as he pleases.” .’
Pique appeared to warn Barcelona against sacking Ronald Koeman (left) despite poor results
Koeman was sent off at the end of the game for arguing with the referee from the sidelines
But he attacked the tone of the coach’s message, who talked about finishing high rather than reclaiming the Spanish title.
Laporta said, “What I don’t like is defeatism. We cannot allow that at Barcelona. We have a team that can strive to win the League and the players tell me that. We must be optimistic. We have to work and fight every day because I believe that’s the way we’ll be successful with talking less and doing more and working more.’
Everyone who spoke on behalf of the club after the draw echoed the same feeling that the league title is still the goal. Aircraft confirmed that there is good news for Koeman. Ansu Fati is close to fitness and could show up on weekends.
Joan Laporta backs Koeman for now, but said he didn’t like coach’s ‘defeatist attitude’