FC Barcelona boss Quique Setien has suggested that he intends to rotate his squad for the rest of the La liga matches with the fixtures ahead set to take its toll on players.
“The idea is to make changes, and there will be changes as the games go on,” Setien said at press conference ahead of Barcelona’s Tuesday night match against Leganes.
“We’ll see how fatigue affects the players, I want to get to the end with the necessary freshness so that performance is not affected by the minutes.
“We will see how the championship develops and how the players recover from the effort.
“We have to avoid injuries and ensure the players arrive to games fresh.”
“It’s possible that the match will be complicated,” Setien added.
“For Leganes it’s an opportunity to get points to help them reach safety.
“But we also need the points to keep hold of our advantage at the top.”
Setien sees Greizmann as an important member of the squad despite the criticisms.
“He’s indisputable, he’s played almost every minute since I came here,” Setien remarked.
“Now there are more players and we have to spread out the minutes.
“We’ll see how the championship evolves and what we need.
“He’s a great player and we’re counting on him.
“He will continue to play a leading role. He is an important player for the club and for the team.”
The former Betis boss praised Messi for his overall contributions.
“He’s good, we shouldn’t just praise him for the amount of goals he scores, which is impressive, but all the other contributions makes too, such as assists,” Setien said of the Argentinian.
“The other day he got two [assists] again. It helps us get a lot of points.
“The figure of 20 goals is astronomical. I think he’s scored more than 700 goals in his career now and that’s why he’s the best in the world.”
The Barca boss again insisted that the less favoured Arturo Vidal’s contribution will be very significant.
“I don’t know how much it might affect us,” the coach commented. “We’d rather have fans there, but we know that’s not possible and we have to adapt.”
“Let’s hope it doesn’t affect us and we play a good game and win.
“I’d rather do it with an audience, without them you lose part of your essence.
“But it’s what we have to do and we have to adapt.”
“He is a very interesting player, he has a qualities that are always necessary in any team,” Setien added.
“He gives a lot of energy in addition to his physicality.
“We were lucky that he scored a goal and he put the game in our hands.
“He played a good game in general. I was very satisfied with his performance.”
“I don’t know what is the most decisive thing,” Setien replied when asked about what could determine the title race. “What you have to do is win.”
“There will be circumstances that will alter this and force us to react.
“It’s going to be a fight in which we both think that we cannot mess up.
“Let’s hope that the distance between us is enough.
“There are a lot of things we can’t control in this month we have left.”
“I was very surprised at how well all the players behaved when they came back and at the attitude they shown since returning,” Setien commented.
“Morale has been very good. I had a hard time deciding on the first line-up.
“I hope to manage it well and try to get things right in each game.”
“With the exception of a few players, due to hierarchy and status, nobody is a starter or substitute,” Setien said of Braithwaite’s chances of lining up against Leganes.
“Just because you play one game doesn’t mean you play the second one.
“There will be rotations. I want everyone to participate and to show that spark and enthusiasm.
“There are many things you cannot control,” Setien said. “Yesterday three centimetres is a valid goal or it’s not.”
“And these factors no team can control, one day things go for you and another day against.
“They are details that nobody can control.”
“Marc has been very good, but making a mistake is always a possibility,” Setien said of his keeper.
“It’s not easy to come back without having had much contact with the ball and without the responsibility of a game.
“Not only have I seen it in certain goalkeepers make mistakes they don’t normally make, but also in players.
“I’ve seen it in my team and in others.”
“I haven’t decided if he’s going to start,” Setien said about Suarez chances of making the starting XI.
“He could be a starter or come off the bench again.”
“We have to be cautious, it’s common to have muscle problems after a long injury.
“Any problem has to be solved because I don’t want to lose a player for not resting one.
“You have to go little by little.”