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Lucho: ‘I hope for the fans to give us the backing we need’

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Lucho: ‘I hope for the fans to give us the backing we need’

Barcelona looks to overcome the one-goal deficit in the second leg against Athletic Club

Luis Enrique talked to the press ahead of the Spanish Cup second leg due to be played this Wednesday at the Camp Nou. The Barça coach assured that "Athletic will put us under pressure. Tomorrow there will be an important home advantage and we must make the Camp Nou a decisive factor, its support is vital and I hope they come in huge numbers to give us the backing we need.”

Barcelona is trailing after the 2-1 loss in the first leg but Leo Messi’s outstanding free kick goal in the nick of time gives the Blaugranas some hope to overturn the tie, as Luis Enrique pointed out: “We’re going into the game a goal down, but the fact that we scored in the first leg has given us the confidence we need to get through the tie. It will be difficult because of the way Athletic play and what this match means to them. They will bring the pressure up the field for sure because that’s what they do.”

The Asturian coach remarked that “we have to be very effective, very precise, and improve our percentage of getting out with the ball and beating their pressure. When we could do it, we were able to find space behind their defence and create scoring chances. This is a sport in which a team that generates very little in the way of chances can end up winning the game. But that doesn’t mean that we won’t be trying to improve on our first leg performance.”

Later on the presser, Barcelona’s head coach stressed again the importance of having the stands backing and enthusiasm: “I consider the fan support to be vital. There has to be a certain level of pressure created in the atmosphere and I am convinced we’ll see an attendance in keeping with the level of this tournament. If we score a goal we’ll be ahead on aggregate and Athletic will have to take risks. That will make the game and the tournament all the more attractive.”

Concerning the latest refereeing controversies and Gerard Piqué’s complaints about it, Luis Enrique said: “I speak with Gerard about a lot of things. It’s his personal opinion and I respect it but we have to raise above all of this and the club’s position and mine are impeccable about not complaining of specific situations. The easy thing to do is weep and complain and the hard thing to do is to bear the situations of the latest matches.”

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