Barcelona boss Martino delighted with Neymar impact

The Argentine believes the Brazil international is maturing and praised him for improving the defensive side of his game
Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino says Neymar has done a "fantastic job" for the club since arriving at Camp Nou in a €54 million (£54.4m) deal in the summer.

The Brazilian has been eased into life at the club, making most of his appearances as a substitute from the bench, but has caught the eye with flashes of his brilliance, including his first goal for the club against Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Supercup.

And after Martino handed Neymar a start in the 4-0 win over Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, before bringing the 21-year-old off on 80 minutes, the Argentine coach insisted he was more than pleased with his progress.

He told AS: "The press judge how he has adapted by asking whether he has scored goals or not, but he does a fantastic job in creating chances and recovering the ball. He has adapted very quickly and I'm very happy with what he has done so far.

"Don't forget that he had a long summer with the Confederations Cup, his hectic transfer to the club and the long trips he has had to make which have prevented him from training properly. We are very satisfied with everything he has offered us."

Saturday's Liga clash saw the Blaugrana enjoy less possession than their opponents for the first time in 317 games, leading to questions from the media regarding the club's change in style, but Martino believes his methods have only come under the microscope because he is not from the same stock as his predecessors.

"I don't get annoyed by the debates. Whenever you have a team that has been as successful as this side, these debates will occur, especially when the coach isn't from Catalonia or from Holland," the 50-year-old added.

"I haven't come here to make any changes, and if you want to question our possession, then last year the average was 66% and this year it's 65,8%.

"If because of that 0.2% you want to say we have changed everything, then go ahead. And with regards to us playing long passes, I remember that Rafa Márquez used to play here, so it's not as if the club hasn't seen that before."