September 23, 2019 / 1:16 PM / a month ago

Valverde dismisses Barcelona crisis talk

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde says he is not worried about his future despite the club’s poor start to the season, dismissing suggestions the Spanish champions are in crisis.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Granada v FC Barcelona - Nuevo Estadio de Los Carmenes, Granada, Spain - September 21, 2019 Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo

The Catalans are eighth in La Liga with seven points from five games after losing 2-0 at Granada on Saturday.

Barca have failed to win any of their last eight competitive games away from Camp Nou across all competitions.

“Coaches always have something on the line in every game, that’s nothing new,” Valverde told a news conference on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Villarreal.

“Crisis? The world of football is like this, you’re in crisis every three days and then you come out of it the same way, that what’s we’ve got to try and do.

“The only way to calm everything down is to get six points from the (next) two games.

“In previous years we’ve always been consistent and had an advantage on the rest but this time we’ve not started well.”

Forward Ousmane Dembele returns to the squad to face Villarreal after a hamstring injury, while midfielder Ivan Rakitic has been left out.

“They always ask me about those who aren’t in the squad, the reason is because someone else is in,” said Valverde, who has recalled Carles Alena.

“(Rakitic) is not being punished, we have many midfielders and that is the decision for this game, we’ll see what happens on Saturday (against Getafe).”

Reporting by Rik Sharma; Editing by Ken Ferris

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