Barcelona don't have an attitude problem, says Setien after Valencia defeat

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Quique Setien Barcelona
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Barca suffered their first defeat under their new manager in La Liga on Saturday, and he admitted his side had played extremely poorly

Quique Setien acknowledged Barcelona did not effectively carry out his game plan and their communication must be worked on following a humbling La Liga defeat at Valencia.

Setien lost for the first time since replacing Ernesto Valverde as Barca boss on January 13, going down 2-0 at Mestalla thanks to a double from Maxi Gomez – the first of which took a heavy deflection off Jordi Alba.

The Blaugrana were on the back foot for much of the match, rallying only briefly between the goals, and Setien conceded they had not played well.

The former Real Betis coach was left searching for improvement, suggesting his players had not understood their instructions.

"They still do not interpret [instructions] well or maybe we do not explain them well," Setien said. "Nobody likes what we have seen today.

"Valencia compromised us, they closed us down well. Positionally, there are things that we have to correct. We have given away many aimless passes. We do not work to do this.

"In the first half, we did not play well at all. The best thing was that we went into half-time at 0-0.

"In the second half, the team improved somewhat and we were able to get into the game, but this is not enough for us."

Setien insisted there was no issue with Barca's mentality, though, adding: "It was not a problem of attitude. I have seen how committed they are.

"We were not well positioned, we have not understood some things, while Valencia have raised the game. It has cost us."

Midfielder Sergio Busquets agreed Barca were taking time to adjust to Setien's tactics.

"I think the players have to adapt to the coaching staff's ideas," he said. "There were good things in this game and others that need to be improved."

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Barcelona will have an early chance to get their form back on track as they host Leganes in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey on Thursday.

League games with Levante, Real Betis, Getafe and Eibar follow in February, with Real Madrid having the chance to overtake Barca at the top following the Valencia defeat.

After those four league fixtures, Barca return to Champions League action with the away leg of their last-16 tie at Napoli on February 25.

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