Iniesta: Barcelona are missing Vilanova

The playmaker has admitted that his team’s dip in form can be attributed mainly to the fact that they have no boss, and has defended Lionel Messi following the loss to Real Madrid

Andres Iniesta has admitted that Barcelona are struggling in the absence of their coach Tito Vilanova.

The Blaugrana coach is currently in New York City undergoing treatment for cancer, and the team have experienced a slump of late, losing to AC Milan in the Champions League and Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey.

“It would be a lie if I said that [Tito’s absence] did not hurt us,” the 28-year-old told reporters.

“It is not normal or logical not to have the figure of a head coach and it is not easy. The first thing is the health of Tito and when he comes back hopefully we are still in the Champions League and have the lead in the league.”

The World Cup winner also defended Lionel Messi, who has come in for criticism of late after a perceived dip in form.

"It's a team issue, not whether Leo is better or worse, we have a lot of goals in the team. Leo is in a very prominent position, but in the end we have lacked finesse to finish the moves," he added.

Barca face Real Madrid once more in La Liga on Saturday.