Soccer-Barca's Koeman has no issue with players' commitment


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - FC Barcelona Training - Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, Barcelona, Spain - September 13, 2021 FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman during training REUTERS/Albert Gea

(Reuters) - Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman had no complaints about the attitude and commitment of his team after Thursday's 0-0 draw with Cadiz and instead lamented the raft of injuries that robbed him of several first-choice players.

The goalless draw left Barca seventh in LaLiga on nine points from five games, already seven points behind leaders Real Madrid, and heaped more pressure on Koeman, who was dismissed in the dying seconds of the game for dissent..

Barcelona President Joan Laporta had backed Koeman as manager before the match but also said he had to start producing better football and that the board would not shirk tough decisions if they needed to be made.

While disappointed that Barca had failed to pick up all three points for a second successive match, Koeman said it was more important to look at how the team had played overall.

"It's not always down to a result. We have to analyse what the team did, the attitude of the team, the commitment of the team and I can't complain about any of that from this game," the Dutchman told reporters.

"I'm not happy, of course, because we had four or five clear chances and we didn't score any goals," he said, adding that the sending off of Frenkie de Jong made it even more difficult.

"What I take away is the attitude, not my own personal situation. Because if we win it looks like we carry on, and if not we look for another coach – and that's a question for you."

Koeman said the absence of a number of first team players had contributed to their lacklustre display. Barca, who were held to a 1-1 draw at home against lowly Granada on Monday, were missing Jordi Alba, Sergio Aguero and Pedri among others.

"I have said several times you always have to try and win every game," Koeman added.

"But you have to be realistic, look at the squad we have and the players missing ... we've got seven starters out."

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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