Bartra: I owe Martino

The young defender hopes the Argentine will remain at Camp Nou next season after a turbulent first year in charge
Barcelona’s Marc Bartra says he owes Gerardo Martino and is desperate for him to still be in charge of the club beyond this season.

Martino’s position at Camp Nou is reportedly unstable following the Blaugrana’s Champions League and Copa del Rey defeats to Atletico and Real Madrid.

Barca are also reliant on both Madrid sides dropping points in their remaining fixtures to have any chance of retaining their La Liga crown.

"If Tata does not continue then for me it is not good news,” said Bartra.

He added: “This maturity I have gained, being involved in this team I owe it to him. It would be a sad news, I hope he can follow, the whole team can trust him and move forward."

The 23-year-old has featured in every game since Gerard Pique’s injury in the Champions League quarter-final, and feels his game is progressing with each outing.

Bartra continued: “I’ve matured a lot thanks to my team-mates and the coach, both bad and good experiences have helped make me very strong. Nothing changes tactically. I can play with Puyol, Pique and Mascherano, I feel very comfortable.”

The defender then issued a rallying cry and insisted the squad have not given up hope of a dramatic finish to their league season.

"We are well aware that the four remaining games are final, the best we can do is play them with the same joy as we did against Athletic,” he added.

“I think the victory was not just for us but for people to see that we do not throw the league for nothing, that we give all of our heart. We played on the back of elimination from the Champions League and it was a good performance.

"The desire of the team was seen, the ambition and that we have not thrown the league, we are going all-out to win it."