Barcelona Also reflected on the No.10’s recent interview

Lionel Messi’s injury issues continue and Ernesto Valverde has spoken of not wanting to rush the No.10 back to action.

The coach explained that he doesn’t want to reintroduce Messi if it could mean the player suffering a more serious setback.

“The fact he isn’t available is significant, I won’t deny that,” he said of the forward’s continued absence at a press conference on Friday, ahead of the weekend’s LaLiga Santander match against Valencia.

“He is a decisive player, especially against teams that sit deep.

“We hope that he’ll be back soon and we especially hope that he returns well because we don’t want to take a backwards step.

“We don’t know if he’ll be ready for Tuesday [against Borussia Dortmund] or if it’ll be later.

“We’ll manage it all in the way we think is the best.

“We need to use the whole squad and I think we have the squad to do this.

“While it’s true that we notice Messi‘s absence, it’s true that it can be an opportunity for other players to take a step forward.”

The coach was also asked about Messi‘s recent interview with Sport.

“We overinterpret whatever he says and everyone studies his body language in so much detail,” Valverde said of the reaction to the player’s comments to the newspaper.

Neymar was brought up again and Valverde was keen to put an end to talk of the Brazilian.

“We’ve spoken about Neymar before, during and after the market and it’s time to turn the page,” he told the assembled media.

Discussing Valencia, Valverde reflected on the coaching change at Mestalla.

“They’ve changed coach, but it’s only been a couple of days so I don’t think there will have been much time to change a lot,” he said of his expectations for Saturday’s match.

“They come from a period of good results and they’ll come with a similar line-up.

“They have a classic 4-4-2 and play well on the counter-attack, as we saw in the Copa del Rey final.”


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