Roura stresses importance of Abidal's return

The Spaniard hinted that the rehabilitated defender has a part to play at Barcelona and insisted Cesc Fabregas' scoring exploits indicate the team is not dependent on Lionel Messi
Barcelona assistant Jordi Roura has underlined the importance of Eric Abidal's return during the 5-0 rout of Mallorca on Saturday.

The 33-year-old came on as a substitute in the second half after enduring 14 months on the sidelines following a liver transplant, and Roura believes his comeback will provide an invaluable boost to his team-mates who are challenging for honours in Spain and Europe.

"Abidal's return is an important moment for the whole squad," he told reporters after the match.

Aside from the defender's eagerly anticipated return to action, the night also proved of note due to Cesc Fabregas' sublime hat-trick after the midfielder was fielded in Lionel Messi's false nine position - prompting Roura to seize the opportunity to insist that the Camp Nou outfit are not dependent on the Argentine.

"If Messi's not there, of course it's a problem, but we've shown again we have the necessary squad depth and quality players," the stand-in coach revealed.

"Cesc played a great game, and he's played before in that position. [Alex] Song was outstanding, while [Alexis] Sanchez also scored twice. He only left the pitch as a precaution.

"Fielding [Gerard] Pique and [Marc] Bartra [against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League]? They played a very good game together, but every game is different, so we'll see."

After taking another step towards securing the Liga title, the Blaugrana now turn their attention to Europe's premier club competition where they will host Carlo Ancelotti's men in the quarter-finals next Wednesday, having secured a 2-2 draw at Parc des Princes in Tuesday's first leg.