Lack of competition hurt Barca - Vilanova

The Barcelona boss has praised his side for equalling La Liga's record points tally but feels they would have thrived under pressure from Real Madrid
Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova believes his side "fell short" last season because of a lack of credible competition in La Liga.

The Blaugrana amassed a record-equalling 100-point tally, winning back their title from Real Madrid having led the table for the entire campaign.

And the 44-year-old feels that a better title challenge from the capital club would have helped them, but praised his side for reaching their century despite the lack of pressure.

"We fell short," he is quoted as saying by AS.

"The difficulty is that we didn't have pressure on us for more time. The year that Madrid got 100 points, we got 91.

"When we got 99, Madrid had 96. Once we were Liga champions, it would be normal to have lost a game and not reach 100 points.

"This clearly demonstrates the competitive spirit of the team."

Barca got their campaign under way with a 5-1 victory over Real Sociedad and Vilanova believes this was key to the players accepting him as Pep Guardiola's replacement.

He added: "It was very important and it was very difficult. Until that moment, the players had seen me as the assistant coach and they accepted me as the main man."