Barca coach tight-lipped about team to face Valencia
BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona coach Luis Enrique refused to give any hints about his line-up for Wednesday's King's Cup semi-final second leg against Valencia.
Barcelona lead 7-0 from the first leg which should give Luis Enrique the chance to rest players including forward Lionel Messi, who is having treatment for kidney problems.
“We have prepared for the match in the same way as if we didn’t have the result of the first leg,” Luis Enrique told a news conference on Tuesday.
“I haven’t got anything to say with regards to Messi,” he added.
“Tomorrow I will give the (team) list, as always. Our objective remains the same, to be better than our rivals. We forget about the first leg result.”
That result and Valencia’s 1-0 defeat at Real Betis on Sunday have increased the pressure of their English coach Gary Neville, who has gone nine Liga matches in charge without a win.
Luis Enrique was not feeling sympathetic, however.
“I don’t like to give hints to rival trainers, I will name the team tomorrow," he said.
“It’s not an easy match. We’ll need to find stimuli for the players to compete at a good level. We’ll have to see if we’re capable of still being competitive in any situation. I hope the team show up and go for the win from the off.”
(Writing by Rex Gowar, editing by Ed Osmond)