Fabregas: Valdes' decision must be respected

The midfielder believes the goalkeeper should be left alone after deciding not to extend his stay with the Liga leaders when his current deal expires
Cesc Fabregas has called on his team-mates and supporters to respect Victor Valdes' decision not to renew his contract at Barcelona.

The goalkeeper's representatives revealed the 31-year-old would be leaving Camp Nou when his current deal comes to an end in July 2014, but Fabregas believes the team should now concentrate on winning trophies.

The midfielder also responded to claims that Valdes was only thinking of himself, with the former Arsenal man believing the decision has given the club enough time to find a replacement.

"Victor has clear ideas, we should respect his decision, and close the case. We have to compete for all trophies now," he told reporters at a press conference.

"Valdes didn't think about himself. He gave the club enough time to look for a solution."

Tito Vilanova's side suffered their first Liga defeat of the season on Saturday when they were beaten 3-2 by Real Sociedad, but Fabregas has attempted to play down the importance of the result in the context of the season.

"In football mistakes are inevitable, it's a game of mistakes, the important thing is to try to make the smallest number possible, but we are working very well. In 20 games we have only lost one.

"But the season is still very good, and hopefully we can continue that intensity."

The Catalans will look to bounce back from that loss when they face Malaga in the Copa del Rey on Thursday; a match they must win after only drawing 2-2 in the first leg, and Fabregas stressed the importance of maintaining a clear focus throughout the 90 minutes.

He added: "When you get to finals and win trophies you will always face a great rival, who make things complicated, but we must not lose our identity and confidence in our game."