Barca coach tells players to forget Roma collapse

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has told his team to dry their tears and get on with winning the Spanish league
AFP

Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona need to put their painful Champions League exit to Roma behind them and concentrate on winning the Spanish league, their coach Ernesto Valverde said on Friday.

Lionel Messi and his teammates were dumped out of Europe after Roma beat them 3-0 Tuesday, but the Catalan giants remain 11 points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid in La Liga.

“Looking back is useless,” said Valverde.

“We need to get things back up and running and get the fans behind us and try and get the two titles still open to us this season that we have not yet won either,” said Valverde, who must pick up his players ahead of their Liga tie with Valencia Saturday.

“It was a major disappointment,” he said of the upset at Rome’s Olympic Stadium.

“We’ve all been affected and we need to get the ball rolling again,” said the Barcelona boss, who took up his post last summer.

Valverde said he felt he still had the backing of the club management despite the upset, compounded by the sight of bitter rivals Real Madrid edging towards a third straight Champions League title. 

“I would like the repercussions to be positive, as it was in the pre-season when it seemed the world would fall in (after Neymar left for Paris Saint-Germain),” said Valverde.

“We put new batteries in and got on with the job.”

“We need ten more points to win the title and we can’t stay at home crying because we lost one match. We need to win tomorrow so that we only need seven more points to be champions.”

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