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The assistant coach has been cited as one of the reasons for the club's poor run of form, but the defender has offered him his full support.

Dani Alves has hit out at critics of Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura and says the absence of Tito Vilanova is a chance for the club to prove just how good it really is.

With the Blaugrana boss recovering from a cancer relapse, the assistant coach has been placed in temporary charge, but after a scintillating first-half of the campaign, the Spanish giant's form has dipped since the turn of the year.

Barca was beaten 2-0 in the first-leg of its round of 16 Champions League clash with AC Milan and then suffered back-to-back Clasico defeats to Real Madrid, in the Copa del Rey and in the league. After beating Deportivo La Coruna 2-0 on Saturday, Barcelona fullback Alves was quick to hit out those who had previously criticized Roura.

“If we win, everyone is quiet and Jordi is the best,” Alves told Barca TV. “But when we lose people have to have someone to aim their anger at.

“We don't listen to any of that. Everyone knows how important Tito [Vilanova] is for us, but when the boss is not here that's when we see how good the team really is."

The Catalans will still need to produce a remarkable comeback if they are to overcome Milan on Tuesday, but Alves says confidence has been boosted on the back of their league win.

“We go into the Milan game with a good feeling now," Alves said. "We played against Deportivo without fear and without nerves."

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