Soccer-Barca chief Laporta offers Koeman backing but wants better football

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Group E - FC Barcelona vs Bayern Munich - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - September 14, 2021 FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo

CADIZ (Reuters) - Barcelona president Joan Laporta backed beleaguered coach Ronald Koeman on Thursday, a day after the Dutchman read a statement in his pre-game news conference in which he asked to be given time.

Laporta, who was speaking in Cadiz ahead of Barca's LaLiga meeting with the Andalusians on Thursday, said the board would not shirk tough decisions if they needed to be made and added that he wanted the club to play better football.

Barca attempted 54 crosses in Monday's drab 1-1 draw at home to Granada, leading some in the Spanish media to compare them to English side Stoke City, who became known for their direct approach under former manager Tony Pulis.

"Koeman's future won't be decided tonight. He's the Barca coach and we want things to go well for him," Laporta said.

"Coach's (futures), not just Koeman, are obviously very determined by their results and in Barca's case also by the style of play. But Koeman's our coach and today we're behind him.

"For us (the board) we don't have any issues in taking any kind of decisions, and you need to make them sometimes. If we need to, whether it's economic, sporting, or social, we will do so."

Barca currently sit eighth in the LaLiga standings with eight points from four games, eight behind league leaders Real Madrid who have played two games more.

(Reporting by Joseph Walker; Editing by Toby Davis)

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