Xavi claims Barcelona have ‘psychological’ problem


Xavi has discussed Barcelona's problems | Alexander Hassenstein/GettyImagesXavi has discussed Barcelona’s problems 

Barcelona manager Xavi has backed his side’s footballing ability and instead believes they are being let down by mental weakness.

Xavi returned to Camp Nou with Barcelona in a real rut and he is yet to drag them out of it. They were eliminated from the Champions League group stage after the recent 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich – their second straight loss in all competitions.

Despite some underwhelming performances, Xavi stressed he has no doubts over his team’s ability and instead discussed the need to strengthen psychologically to deal with the pressure of being a Barcelona player.

“It is a psychological issue rather than a football one,” Xavi told a press conference (via Marca).

“They have to believe it and that is my job. We are encouraging them to dare and be brave. At Barcelona it’s not worth playing 6/10 or 7/10. You have to aim for excellence.

“This is what is missing. Courage, aiming high and not low because that is not what Barcelona do. Being brave and understanding the game, we are not that far from what we want.

“The squad has the level to compete and win titles. In the Bayern game there was also a psychological aspect, but also [a sign that] habits have been lost.”

Despite reaffirming his faith in the players, Xavi did not hide his desire to improve the squad in the January transfer market. President Joan Laporta has already confirmed to fans that new signings are likely.

“The team always has to improve,” added Xavi. “There is a market and it is an opportunity.

“There is a lot of communication. It was a very productive meeting. I was clear. We have a financial problem, but we have to work to improve the team, the squad and be more competitive.

“I discussed it with the president and the board, but now is not the time to talk about it because tomorrow’s game is key. We are concerned about the present.”

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