The coach played down the significance of being beaten in El Clasico and claims he would choose the same XI if the Spanish giants were to clash again tomorrow
The Catalans remain first in the Spanish top flight after nine games, ahead of high-flying Sevilla on goal difference with Real Madrid, Valencia and Atletico Madrid trailing close behind in the chasing pack.
The Camp Nou coach, in his debut season in charge of Barca’s first team, played down the significance of the loss at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday in the grand scheme of the 2014-15 campaign.
“I would have settled for that defeat at the start of the season if we won La Liga, and I would at the end,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “We’d be delighted.
“I’d accept losing to anyone if we won La Liga. I’m aware that to win we need to play well. And that would mean that the fans enjoy themselves.
“At the end of the day, we are joint leaders after nine games and for me it’s much more important to be top of La Liga than to have beaten Real Madrid.
“I hope it’s 100 times more intense when Madrid come to Barcelona. It’s part of football – the songs and the insults. I think we’re over the loss.”
Luis Enrique also stressed that the blame for the loss rests on his shoulders, but that he would not change his starting line-up if he were to go another round tomorrow with Carlo Ancelotti’s men as he has faith in his tactics and team.
“I take full responsibility for the defeat. It had nothing to do with problems with fitness or attitude,” the coach continued. “It was particular circumstances during the match that affected the team.
“I would pick the same XI again. You never know how a game is going to pan out and there were things I didn’t expect from Real Madrid.
“Knowing that I would certainly have planned things differently but it’s very easy to be wise after the event.”