Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has said that he must take the blame for his side’s shocking 4-0 Supercopa de Espana first-leg loss to Athletic Bilbao on Friday.
With the Catalans having been taken to extra-time in Tuesday’s Uefa Super Cup win over Sevilla in Tbilisi, the Blaugrana boss decided to rotate his squad for the trip to San Mames.
“I had to make many changes because we had only three days to recover. I take responsibility for the loss,” Luis Enrique told the media after the clash.
“The schedule hurt us, as we had just come back from a trip to Georgia, but this is not the time to look for excuses. The calendar is what it is.”
The 45-year-old was full of praise for the Basque outfit, who broke the deadlock courtesy of a sensational long-distance strike from Mikel San Jose before romping to a famous win thanks to a brilliant second-half treble from Aritz Aduriz.
However, Luis Enrique has not given up hope of Barca turning things around at Camp Nou next week.
“I’ve never played an easy game against Athletic. I congratulate them, but on Monday there will be another atmosphere,” he added.
“Is a comeback possible? This was just the first half. If there’s one team that can turn this around it’s Barca.”
Meanwhile, Barca skipper Andres Iniesta is also optimistic that they can keep their sextuple hopes alive with a dramatic comeback on home soil.
“We paid for a few mistakes,” the midfielder stated. “We didn’t play well. It’ll be very tough, but we’ll try to turn this around. It’s not impossible.”