A disappointing end to Barcelona‘s Champions League campaign before the quarter-final and a toothless display in the most recent Clasico defeat has left many suggesting Ronald Koeman‘s future at the club is far from guaranteed, yet the Dutch coach has fought his corner, suggesting that ahead of the Copa del Rey final he knows what’s going to happen whether his team wins or loses.
Los Cules have the opportunity to avenge their Supercopa de Espana final defeat to Athletic Club on Saturday, whilst also adding a trophy to a season that had threatened to end without one for the Catalan giants, something that has been unthinkable prior to 2019/20.
“It’s weird that I have to respond to this kind of thing, I know before the game what will happen if we win and what will happen if we don’t win,” Koeman explained in his pre-match press conference.
“We’ve had a 19-game streak and I have to answer questions about my future, I have to accept it but I don’t agree with it.
“It’s a strange thing, but it’s my job, I know I have to deal with this pressure and I know how to handle it.”
Barcelona‘s squad has some very young players in it, especially players who haven’t been involved in trophy winning teams before, yet Koeman believes his experienced players will be able to help the likes of Sergino Dest and Pedri through the encounter.
“We need everyone to play well tomorrow, there are several who have experience, who have played in many finals and won them, they have to help the young players,” Koeman added.
“They need to learn from the Supercopa, and gain experience of playing in finals, both winning and losing them. That’s how you mature as a player, it’s the most important thing.”
Joan Laporta has spoken positively of Koeman in the past, however the former Feyenoord coach maintains that he doesn’t need the ratification of anyone publicly.
“I don’t need this, we have spoken and he has shown me his confidence,” Koeman detailed.
“If someone writes that the coach’s future is at risk, the president doesn’t have to respond to that by showing confidence.
“I’m the first to know what Laporta thinks, at this club you need to win trophies, and despite the changes and the economic situation at the club, we’re here at a final and we want to win it, speculation isn’t important.”