Under-fire Ernesto Valverde puts on a brave face as Barcelona prepare for Valencia's visit

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Valverde is putting on a brave front after the Champions League exit.

Barcelona are powering towards a record-breaking LaLiga title triumph yet manager Ernesto Valverde finds himself under fierce attack as the inquest into the club’s Champions League exit continues.

Victory over Valencia at the Nou Camp on Saturday would increase their unbeaten league run to 39 games, surpassing the previous highest mark set by Real Socieded 38 years ago, and propel them ever closer to a seventh crown in the last decade.

But despite sweeping all before them on the domestic front, Barcelona are reeling from the 3-0 surrender to Roma on Tuesday that saw them exit Europe on away goals and it is Valverde who is bearing the brunt of the fallout.

“I’m fine and this is not the worst moment of my career, for sure,” Valverde said in quotes reported by Marca.

“It’s obviously a bad moment, I’m not going to deny it, we’re all here to win games and when we lose we have to get together.

“I knew what it would be like when I signed a contract with the club. You have to stay strong when the defeats come. This does not surprise me, I knew it. It has happened to everyone and it happens to me.

“It’s been a long time since we had a defeat. We had one against Espanyol in January, but we turned that tie around. When you sign a contract with a club like Barca, that’s what you have to cope with.

Barcelona are unbeaten since 38 games in La Liga.

Barcelona are unbeaten since 38 games in La Liga.

“You have to show your face when you’ve lost games. I knew that when I came into the job. It hasn’t surprised me. It happened to other coaches before me and it’s going to happen to me again.”

Sergio Busquets could be involved as he nears recovery from a broken foot and he has been included in the squad for the visit of Valencia, but Ivan Rakitic has been ruled out by a broken finger.

“It’s a difficult moment in the season, maybe the most difficult since August,” said Valverde, whose team are also in the Copa del Rey final.

“We have lost and we are out of a competition that we were very excited about; we feel for ourselves and for the fans.

“In the end, what you want is for another game to come round.”

Valencia boss Marcelino Garcia Toral refuses to view Barcelona, whose talisman Lionel Messi is out of form, as vulnerable following their demise in Europe.

“We are heading there excited and with ambitions of our own, but what happened this week in the Champions League won’t have a negative effect on them,” he said.

“It is rare for Barcelona to lose two consecutive games. We are going to put in all that we can to try and get a result.”

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Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde says "looking back is useless" after Roma loss

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Barcelona need to put their painful Champions League exit to Roma behind them and concentrate on winning the Spanish league, their coach Ernesto Valverde said on Friday.

Lionel Messi and his teammates were dumped out of Europe after Roma beat them 3-0 Tuesday, but the Catalan giants remain 11 points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid in La Liga.

“Looking back is useless,” said Valverde.

“We need to get things back up and running and get the fans behind us and try and get the two titles still open to us this season that we have not yet won either,” said Valverde, who must pick up his players ahead of their Liga tie with Valencia Saturday.

“It was a major disappointment,” he said of the upset at Rome’s Olympic Stadium.

“We’ve all been affected and we need to get the ball rolling again,” said the Barcelona boss, who took up his post last summer.

Valverde said he felt he still had the backing of the club management despite the upset, compounded by the sight of bitter rivals Real Madrid edging towards a third straight Champions League title.

“I would like the repercussions to be positive, as it was in the pre-season when it seemed the world would fall in (after Neymar left for Paris Saint-Germain),” said Valverde.

“We put new batteries in and got on with the job.”

“We need ten more points to win the title and we can’t stay at home crying because we lost one match. We need to win tomorrow so that we only need seven more points to be champions.”

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Ivan Rakitic misses out as Barcelona name squad for Valencia

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Ernesto Valverde has named Barcelona‘s 18-man squad for their La Liga clash at home against Valencia as his side look to recover from their mid-week agony.

Barcelona are currently leading second-placed Atletico Madrid by 11 points in the table and are coming into the game after the shock exit from the Champions League at the hands of AS Roma.

The Blaugrana are unbeaten in the league so far, and will look to go past Real Sociedad’s record of 38 consecutive league games without defeat, as they now focus on domestic titles.

Among those who missed out of the squad were Ivan Rakitic, who sustained a finger injury in the game against Roma, Lucas Digne, Aleix Vidal and Yerry Mina.

Speaking ahead of the game, Valverde said, “I am expecting the same Valencia as always. They are in the middle of a great run with a system that is bringing great success. They are having an excellent season.”

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