Martino demands better

Gerardo Martino says Barcelona must rediscover their form before they face Real Madrid - a match he feels they must now win.

Last Updated: 09/03/14 at 11:15 Post Comment

Gerardo Martino: 'We have to win at the Bernabeu'

Gerardo Martino: 'We have to win at the Bernabeu'

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Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino has given his players a two-week deadline to get back to their best after their Primera Division title hopes took another hit on Saturday with a 1-0 defeat at Real Valladolid.

Despite the gulf in the table between the sides, it was third-bottom Valladolid who emerged victorious thanks to Fausto Rossi's first-half strike.

Barca have now lost three of their last six matches in La Liga and have dropped to third as a result, a point behind the top two of Real and Atletico Madrid, with Carlo Ancelotti's men still to play this weekend.

And although Martino has not given up on retaining their league crown, he knows his side must find some form before their March 23 meeting with leaders Real at the Bernabeu.

"The team lacked ideas against Valladolid but not intensity," he told the club's official website.

"We completely failed in generating play and that's what stopped us from getting the result.

"We lacked what makes us Barca: good elaboration in our build-up, finding spaces, breaking through on the wings and having depth. But we didn't lack attitude.

"We had very few chances of actually running at goal. We almost always had to fight against 10 defenders. A good solution would have been creating more space.

"Our obligation is to fight for La Liga until the last moment and that's what we're going to do. We have to win at the Bernabeu regardless.

"Currently we aren't at our best and we have to find our best form in order to play against teams like Real Madrid. We have 15 days to do it."

Barca will aim to defend their 2-0 lead over Manchester City in the Champions League last 16 on Tuesday before taking on Osasuna in the league ahead of the Real showdown.


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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

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