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Barca president Bartomeu and Iniesta back Luis Enrique
February 20, 2017 / 12:16 PM / 10 months ago

Barca president Bartomeu and Iniesta back Luis Enrique

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and club captain Andres Iniesta have given their full support to under-pressure coach Luis Enrique, who was booed by fans during Sunday’s 2-1 home victory over Leganes.

Football Soccer - Barcelona v Leganes - Spanish La Liga Santander - Camp Nou stadium, Barcelona, Spain - 19/02/17 - Barcelona's coach Luis Enrique Martinez before the match against Leganes. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Luis Enrique has steered Barcelona to eight tournament triumphs since 2014 but is set for an early Champions League exit after the 4-0 last-16 drubbing at Paris St Germain last week, the most humiliating defeat of his coaching career.

Yet amid speculation that the coach may not now sign a new contract once his current deal expires this summer, Bartomeu offered him a resounding vote of support on Monday.

”Luis Enrique is the manager we want,“ the president told reporters. ”He’s done really well and we’re satisfied with his work. There’s no Plan B. The priority is still for Luis Enrique to continue.

“Remember that we’re in one final and there’s still a lot of the season to go and things to improve.”

Football Soccer - Paris St Germain v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg - Parc Des Princes, Paris, France - 14/2/17 Barcelona's Andres Iniesta looks dejected Reuters / Christian Hartmann Livepic

Barcelona are in the King’s Cup final on May 27 and remain second in La Liga, a point behind arch rivals Real Madrid who have two games in hand.

Yet Barca were still struggling on Sunday, needing Lionel Messi to convert a 90th minute penalty to beat Leganes.

FC Barcelona's president Josep Maria Bartomeu attends a news conference at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain December 20, 2016. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Iniesta acknowledged the defending Spanish champions were rattled after the defeat to PSG but backed the coach and team to restore the side’s winning mentality.

“We have not lost confidence in ourselves nor in the manager,” Iniesta told reporters. “I think it’s a one-off situation we’re going through.”

Iniesta said it was understandable the team carried a Champions League hangover into the Leganes match.

“We knew it was going to be difficult after what happened in Paris. We’re humans and these things affect us.”

Reporting by Adriana Garcia; editing by Richard Lough and Ian Chadband

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