Ronald Koeman has spoken to the media ahead of Barcelona’s LaLiga Santander match against Granada as his side look to get back to winning ways after a heavy defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
It’s been a difficult period for the club, but Koeman isn’t worried about his job despite his side failing to convince on the pitch.
“I’m only thinking about the match and the team,” he said.
“The rest is out of my hands. I’m relaxed and confident about winnings matches. We need to get some players back so we have more guys to choose from, but I know that we have to win. The results are what count.
“I’m not worried about my future. The club and the president will make the decisions”.
Injuries have meant Barcelona are short for options in the left-back position, but Koeman isn’t concerned.
“We have [Alejandro] Balde, who played well the other day with quality and energy,” he assured the fans.
“We also have [Sergino] Dest and [Oscar] Mingueza, but I prefer a natural left-back. Balde is young and has to learn, but I’m not scared to start him.”
He was also asked about how the fans’ perceive what is going on at the club.
“I don’t know what they’re thinking,” said the Dutchman.
“There will be realists, opportunists and some who are unhappy with the current situation.”
Koeman also spoke of how different systems are necessary for different matches.
“There are different systems to win games and many teams vary theirs,” he told the press.
“It depends on the players. The basic system is a 4-3-3 but it depends on the number of forwards that you have or the defenders available. If we played more open against Bayern, it would have been a heavier defeat.”
Barcelona have three matches this week but their coach is confident they can come through it.
“We’re capable of winning every match,” he affirmed.
“We do have to prepare well, though, and defend well.”
There will be times in the season when Koeman may have to bring some younger players into the first team, but he has confidence in them.
“I’m not scared at all to start young players, but playing six of them at this moment isn’t good,” he said.
“They will participate, though, and get their minutes. It’s difficult to say when they’ll play more. You need to work with them.
“If you’re talking about a player like Pedri, he has to start. It all depends on a lot of things.”
The Dutch legend insisted his players know things will improve.
“The players are realists,” he said.
“We want to get better, but things don’t change in two days. They think the same way as I do.”
His squad has suffered from injuries and some players are on their way back.
“Kun Aguero is working on the training pitch with a physio, but he’s not quite there yet,” he commented.
“Coutinho did well the other day and got some minutes but he’s not really for the full 90 yet.
“Ansu Fati, despite being so young, has great quality and has scored a lot of goals. We’re not putting a date on his return, but he’s working with the team. He could come back in a week or 10 days.”
Koeman wants to be realistic about the 3-0 home defeat to Bayern in midweek.
“I’m more of a realist than an opportunist. More than a year ago, Barcelona lost 8-2 with Messi, Suarez and Griezmann,” he said.
“The other day we started with young players like Balde, Gavi, Demir and Mingueza.”
The Barcelona coach expects the fans to play a big part in the match against Granada on Sunday.
“I don’t think Granada have changed much, although every coach has their own ideas” he said ahead of the game.
“Their system is 4-3-3, they’re physically strong and play directly. We’re at home and there will be fans.
“It’ll be a different match compared to last year’s, above all because of the fans.”