Football

Ernesto Valverde responds to Ter Stegen’s comments on Barcelona’s internal issues following narrow win over Silvia Prague

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde shrugged off all criticism of his side’s performance against Silvia Prague ahead of Real Valladolid clash.

Ernesto Valverde has refused to comment publicly on his side’s internal issues following goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stegan’s comments criticizing the Blaugrana’s performance in last week’s 2-1 Champions League win over Slavia Prague. The German international was scathing in his assessment of his side’s performance, claiming that there were a lot of improvements to be made.

Slavia ended the match in Prague on top and Ter Stegen suggested he and his teammates needed to discuss the below-par display among themselves. Valverde on his part however believes that too much importance was given to the final stages of the match, where they struggled to come to terms with their opponents and wants any issues that have come out to remain internal and within the squad.

“When matches end, everyone leaves with an opinion of what happened on the field. Matches can be seen in many ways, and if we have to solve something, we will solve it with within the club and not publicly. When the game ends, people’s impression is of the final minutes and they don’t think about the overall game,” he said in the pre-match press conference.

“In the first half of the Slavia game we had two or three chances on goal, they attacked and we did as well. In the second half, they got an early goal and we managed to get the result we wanted in the end. They pressed us and that’s it. If it had been a 4-1 win, we would be talking like we had the same result as in Eibar [a 3-0 victory]. This is football and it is normal,” he added.

Barcelona have not played a match since their 2-1 victory over Silvia Prague last Wednesday with Saturday’s El Classico against Real Madrid getting postponed as a result of civil unrest in Catalonia. The reigning LaLiga champions will be back in action on Tuesday when they take on Real Valladolid at home. Valverde is expecting a tough fight from the visitors who are on an unbeaten run in all competitions.

“They have had a good run and against the top teams have got some good results,” Valverde said. “Taking into account last year’s game [a 1-0 win for Barça] which was complicated, this is a game which we have many hopes for after the break this week. They have reinforced their style because they are doing well. I expect them to play like they have in recent matches. They will be solid and hard to overcome,” he added.

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