October 1, 2019 / 4:26 PM / 13 days ago

Griezmann asks for time to adapt to life at Barca

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann says he needs to be given more time to settle into his new surroundings after making an underwhelming start to his career with the club since his 120-million-euro ($131 million) move from Atletico Madrid.

Soccer Football - Champions League - FC Barcelona Training - Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, Barcelona, Spain - October 1, 2019 Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi and team mates during training REUTERS/Albert Gea

The Frenchman has failed to score in six of his eight competitive games and has come in for criticism for Barca’s poor performances this campaign, which have led to them dropping eight points in seven La Liga games.

“It’s very hard to adapt 100% in two months,” Griezmann told reporters ahead of Barca’s Champions League Group F clash with Inter Milan on Wednesday.

“I’ve just got here, there’s a different philosophy and I need to learn and improve in certain areas. I feel comfortable here but I need time to improve, particularly on my movement without the ball and I need to get more involved in the play.

“I feel good and confident but I know I lack a few things to be the best player I can be. I think I’m on the right path.”

Injuries to Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele have led to Griezmann playing in six different attacking partnerships this season, and the forward said it was understandable that he has yet to hit the ground running.

“It’s always tougher when players like Ousmane, Leo, Luis or Ansu Fati are missing, it means you can’t train together so we have to try and do the best we can to cope with the situation,” he added.

All four teams in Group F have one point, with Barca drawing 0-0 at Borussia Dortmund in their opener while Inter drew 1-1 at Slavia Prague.

Barca beat Inter 2-0 at the Camp Nou last season but the Italians are thriving under coach Antonio Conte, topping the Serie A standings after winning six out of six games.

“Conte is a great coach who manages to get the best out of his teams tactically and has always got good results, whether with the national team or with Juventus,” added Griezmann, who lost the 2016 final with Atletico to Real Madrid on penalties.

“The Champions League is the trophy everyone dreams about, I’ve won a lot of trophies but this is my objective, my dream. I hope it’s a spectacular night and we can get the three points.”

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis

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