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Gerard Pique calls for stability at Barcelona and says CAN team challenge La Liga title after 0-0 draw in Cadiz … as defender warns club against sacking Ronald Koeman even after no win in three games
- Barcelona’s Gerard Pique said the club must remain calm after the 0-0 draw at Cadiz
- He appeared to warn of sacking coach under fire Ronald Koeman
- “It doesn’t help the team if there is no unity,” said the veteran defender
- Frenkie de Jong was sent off to Cadiz while Memphis Depay missed three goalkeepers
- Pique also lashed out at La Liga organizers over Barca’s busy schedule
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Gerard Pique called for calm after Barcelona lost two more points in the Spanish title race, insisting the team can compete for the league this season.
His comments came after Barcelona’s 0-0 draw against Cadiz, and before coach Ronald Koeman insisted the players are still working hard for him.
Pique said: “We recently changed chairmen and coaches and what we need is stability. We must all pull in the same direction. It is of no use to the team if there is no unity.
Gerard Pique shows his frustration in Barca’s 0-0 draw at Cadiz in La Liga on Thursday
Pique called for unity at Barcelona after the team failed to win a third game in a row
The spirit of Barcelona manifested itself after going down to 10 men and that attitude was echoed by Pique who complained about the match schedule which had let Barcelona play twice in the same week.
“I don’t know who is organizing the matches, but I don’t understand why we had to play on Monday and then again on Thursday,” he said. “We have five games with 12 days off. It’s not a complaint but hopefully the league will look into it.
Commenting on the 0-0 draw, he said: “No one would have drawn, but it depends on the context and with 10 men everything has changed. We competed with one less player. We don’t like not winning and we urgently needed to win, but I’m proud of the way the team played.
Frenkie de Jong has been sent off from Barca and Pique says “With 10 men everything has changed”
Barcelona were furious with referee Carlos del Cerro Grande after De Jong sent off
“I am here to win and I have no doubts that we are in competition. It’s tough for everyone but I’m sure we’ll win on Sunday and compete until the end. ‘
Koeman added, “I’m happy with the point. We were better than them until the expulsion and then we had more problems. We had the best chances with Memphis but we couldn’t take them.
“The feeling I have with the team is very good and the players have shown today that we are working hard. We are missing some things up front but the attitude tonight was very good. ‘
Barcelona will not have Koeman in their technical zone on Sunday against Levante after his late red card, but Barcelona sporting director Ramon Planas has confirmed he will still be in charge.
Earlier, Laporta had confirmed that Koeman would not be sacked if he lost to Cadiz. The Barcelona president said: “Koeman’s future does not depend on tonight’s result. We are with the coach. He is the coach of Barca’s first team and what we want is for things to turn out well for him. ‘
Laporta even defended Koeman’s decision to read a statement at his pre-match press conference on Wednesday: “He is obligated to attend the press conference and is free to answer (questions) or speak up. express as he wishes. “
Pique appeared to warn Barcelona against sacking Ronald Koeman (left) despite poor results
Koeman was sent off at the end of the game for arguing with the referee from the sideline
But he attacked the tone of the message from the coach who spoke of finishing at the top of the table instead of reclaiming the Spanish title.
Laporta said: “What I don’t like is defeatism. We cannot allow this in Barcelona. We have a team that can aspire to win the League and the players are telling me that. We must be optimistic. We have to work and fight every day because I think that is how we will be successful with less talk, more action and more work.
Everyone who spoke on behalf of the club after the draw echoed the same feeling that the league title is still on target. The planes confirmed there was good news for Koeman. Ansu Fati is close to fitness and could feature on weekends.
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