Barcelona manager Xavi remains optimistic, asserting that his team is “closer to success than defeat” ahead of their Copa del Rey last-16 match against third-tier Unionistas.
Following a 4-1 loss to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final, pressure has mounted on Xavi and the squad. In an effort to boost morale, Barcelona president Joan Laporta and other board members visited the training ground.
Facing Unionistas, the only non-professional team left in the tournament, poses a challenge, but Xavi emphasizes that there are significant goals for the team this season, both domestically and in Europe.
“I am here because I have achieved certain targets. When I joined they told me the goal was to finish fourth and we finished second,” Xavi said at a press conference.
“Last season the goal was to win the league – and we did that and also won the Super Cup, surpassing expectations.
“The goal this year was to win trophies and we are halfway through the season and the three most important ones are all still to play for. We are closer to success than defeat.”
Barcelona will be missing defender Ronald Araujo due to his dismissal against Real Madrid, and teenage forward Lamine Yamal is suspended following a red card in the Youth Copa del Rey last year against Malaga.
Xavi, acknowledging his team’s defensive vulnerabilities after conceding a first-half hat-trick to Vinicius Junior against Real Madrid, is aware of the need for defensive improvement.
“We have to improve in defence. We can’t let in so many goals or make things easy for the opposition,” he said.