Martino: 'Faultless' Barcelona can target treble

The Argentine thinks his men are perfectly placed to lift silverware on three fronts this season and expects them to bounce back from last week's defeat to Real Sociedad
Gerardo Martino has hit back at his critics by insisting Barcelona remains on course to win the treble this season.

The Catalans lost 3-1 at Real Sociedad last week, but sit only three points behind Liga leader Real Madrid ahead of the Madrid derby against fellow title rival Atletico.

And with his men holding a 2-0 lead lead over Manchester City in the last 16 of the Champions League, Martino thinks Barcelona still occupies a position of strength despite recent performances coming under scrutiny.

"Back at the start of the season, all of us would have settled to be in this position – we are still in with a chance of three trophies with 20 games left to play," the 51-year-old told reporters.

"We still have options and we are going to battle to win everything. When you suffer a defeat, you always want the next game to arrive as soon as possible so you can put it behind you.

"Whenever I have coached a side which is self-critical, like this Barca side is, I know that their reaction will be faultless. 

"Their [the players'] words sum up what this club is about. I feel flattered by their support and the way they placed the blame on themselves and not me. If we remain united, everything else doesn’t matter."

Martino admitted that Barcelona would be hosting Almeria on Sunday with an eye on the result of the Madrid derby, but underlined that nothing less than a win would do at Camp Nou.

"If we win our match, we’ll be left with three possible outcomes. We have to play against both Madrid and Atletico and ideally, we want to reduce the distance between them before we meet," he continued.

"It’s impossible for us to ignore what happens in the derby but whatever happens, we still need to beat Almeria."