Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has a defiant message for supporters ahead of a crucial few weeks for the Catalan giants both on and off the pitch.
The Germany international has taken to Instagram to urge his side on after Sunday’s disappointing 1-1 draw to Cadiz which has hurt the club’s slim La Liga title hopes.
Barca had looked set to beat Cadiz and close the gap to league leaders Atletico to six points on Sunday until they conceded a late penalty and were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw instead.
Ronald Koeman’s side now face important La Liga fixtures against Elche and Sevilla this week before the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final clash against Julen Lopetegui’s side on March 3 at the Camp Nou.
Presidential elections will then take place on March 7 which is three days before Barca’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Paris Saint-Germain. The Catalan giants are 4-1 down after the first game at the Camp Nou and are in need of a big comeback.
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Koeman Calls on His Captains
Koeman has called on his senior stars and captains to lead by example with the club’s 2020-21 season on the line over the new few weeks. Barca are in danger of ending the season empty-handed for a second straight season and it will take something special to turn their season around.
Yet the Dutch coach is not giving up hope yet and told a pre-match press conference on Tuesday that it’s time for the more experienced players in his squad to step up and lead the way.
It’s time for the team to recover pride and energy, above all those that have been here for many years. Recent results against PSG and Sevilla have done damage but we have to move forward. It’s a moment when the captains and more experienced players have to create an atmosphere to go for everything.
I have that we can (win the league) because no team is going to win everything. The distance is less than it was three weeks ago and depends on the upcoming games. There’s hope and we have to go for everything.
Barca head into Wednesday’s match against Elche down in fourth place in the table but will move second with a win. A victory would also move the Catalans to within five points of Atletico, although the Rojiblancos will have a game in hand.
Barca ‘Can Still Fight’ For Title
Indeed Koeman thinks his team can still fight for the title but can’t afford to make any mistakes. Sunday’s draw saw Barca drop points after conceding an 89th-minute penalty despite dominating the game.
The Barca boss says his team have a lot to play for in the coming weeks and can’t afford to make any more mistakes.
A lot is at stake this week. We can still fight for the title. Any team can slip up or lose a game, as we have seen recently, but we can’t afford any more Cadiz repeats. We have two huge games this week and then we will think about the Copa. It will be tough to turn things around against Sevilla – it would be easier with fans – but we want to fight.
Barca ran out 2-0 winners when they met Elche earlier this season at the Manuel Martínez Valero. Goals from Frenkie de Jong and Riqui Puig were enough to secure all three points.