(Reuters) – Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman had no complaints about his team’s attitude and commitment after Thursday’s 0-0 draw against Cadiz, instead complaining about the string of injuries that have deprived him of several first-choice players.
The goalless draw left Barca seventh in LaLiga with nine points from five games, already seven points behind leaders Real Madrid, and put more pressure on Koeman, who was sacked for disagreement in the final seconds of the game.
Barcelona President Joan Laporta had coached Koeman ahead of the game but also said he needed to start producing better football and that the board would not shy away from tough decisions when they had to be made.
While disappointed that Barca hadn’t taken all three points for a second game in a row, Koeman said it was more important to look at the team’s overall performance.
“It doesn’t always depend on a result. We have to analyze what the team has done, the team’s attitude, the team’s commitment and I can’t fault anything about this game,” the Dutchman told reporters.
“I’m obviously not happy because we had four or five clear chances and we didn’t score,” he said, adding that Frenkie de Jong’s dismissal made things even more difficult.
“What I’m taking with me is the attitude, not my personal situation. Because if we win it looks like we will continue and if not we are looking for another coach – and that is a question for you.”
Koeman said the absence of a number of first-team players contributed to their lackluster performance. Barca, who drew 1-1 at home against defeated Granada on Monday, were missing Jordi Alba, Sergio Agüero and Pedri, among others.
“I’ve said several times that you always have to try to win every game,” added Koeman.
“But you have to be realistic, look at the squad we have and the missing players … we have seven starters out.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Peter Rutherford)