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Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal denies the Catalan giants are looking for a new manager 

Modified 21 Dec 2019, 01:04 IST

FC Barcelona v Slavia Praha: Group F - UEFA Champions League
FC Barcelona v Slavia Praha: Group F - UEFA Champions League

Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal has denied that the club are on the lookout for a new manager and has urged fans to be patient with current boss Ernesto Valverde, who has been at the end of heavy criticism in recent months.

Valverde has the Blaugrana's full support, claims Abidal

Barcelona may be at the summit of La Liga, level on points with arch-rivals Real Madrid, but the inconsistency of their performances and their style of play this season have raised questions over Valverde's leadership at the club.

The Spanish champions have been defeated thrice this term, including their 3-1 defeat to Levante; and have failed to establish easy victories against the likes of Slavia Prague in the Champions League. Furthermore, the Blaugrana's elimination from Europe after defeats to Roma in 2017-18 and Liverpool in 2018-19 remains etched in the minds of dissatisfied supporters.

Valverde's future at the Camp Nou continues to be the subject of endless speculation but Abidal believes the Spaniard has the backing of the club's backroom staff.

Speaking to Sport English, he said,

"There's always a debate about Valverde. The same thing that happened in Rome happened in Liverpool. Because of one result, you can end up thinking that it's been a bad season. And for the way that it happened.
"In these situations, you can think that the coach is to blame, but you have to analyse everything. What does the coach bring to the team and vice-versa?
"We support the coach and we give him all the information, although the day-to-day is his. There are clubs that change coaches after bad results, but you always have to look at the wider situation. If the coach sees that it can be improved, you have to back him."
Eric Abidal
Eric Abidal

The former Barcelona defender added,

"I can assure you that no one has spoken to anyone, although its continuity depends on the result. He is seen to like to train. In the end, he can only say that he wants to continue because of how he feels.
"I don't know if it will be the last season because he has the decision. The only thing I know is that we talked face to face about the situation recently. He will decide when he must decide."

River Plate boss Marcelo Gallardo and Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman have both been linked with the managerial role in Barcelona but it appears Valverde's position at the club is secure for now.

The Catalan giants will return to action this Saturday when they face Leganes in La Liga.

Published 17 Nov 2019, 22:27 IST
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