Ernesto Valverde has said he is not worried about his future as Barcelona coach and feels fully supported by the club.
Valverde’s position has again come under scrutiny after Barca were beaten 3-1 by Levante in La Liga last weekend before behind held to a goalless draw at home to Slavia Prague on Tuesday.
Asked if he feels concerned about his future, Valverde said: “No”. He added: “The club has supported me and respected me. I have no problem with that.”
Barcelona have lost three times in the league already this season and their semi-final collapse against Liverpool in the Champions League in May still lingers.
“Whether I understand the criticism or not, thats how it is,” Valverde said. “I don’t have much to say except if the game against Slavia had been better or if we had scored in the first half or another in the second, it would be different.”
Barca play at home on Saturday against struggling Celta Vigo, who appointed Oscar Garcia as coach on Wednesday after sacking Fran Escriba.
“What we need is a victory,” said Valverde. “We come from losing a game against Levante where we conceded three in six minutes and we need a victory to get back to adding three points because we know what it means when you lose at this club.
“We are motivated, we know this will be a difficult match, but we want to win for the feeling more than anything but also to stay top of the table.”
Barcelona are ahead of Real Madrid only on goal difference but the two sides have played a game fewer than Real Sociedad in third and Atletico Madrid in fourth after the Clasico was postponed last month.
The match has been rearranged for Wednesday December 18 and the suggestion is La Liga could push for an afternoon kick-off.
“I wouldn’t understand that,” said Valverde. “I don’t know anything about it but for the fans it wouldn’t be good. They can watch the game in far-away countries but it would also be good to appeal to those people that live here.”
Valverde said Luis Suarez could return against Celta after recovering from a calf strain sustained against Levante but Jordi Alba is out with a hamstring injury.
“We think Luis can be available but let’s see, I can’t be sure,” Valverde said.