Barcelona’s head coach, Ronald Koeman, took no questions in a brief news conference on Wednesday and instead read a statement saying the underperforming club were in a period of transition and the process required patience.
Koeman’s position has become more precarious in the past week after a 3-0 thrashing at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League and Monday’s surprise 1-1 draw at home to Granada in La Liga, leaving his side with eight points from four games.
Speaking before a La Liga game at Cádiz on Thursday, he said the club trusted him to lead the team through a period of transition and the focus would be on young players.
“The club is with me in this period of reconstruction,” Koeman told a virtual news conference. “We have to reconstruct the team as a squad without making big investments and this takes time.
“The young talents we have can become world stars in a couple of years. The young players will have opportunities, just as Xavi and [Andrés] Iniesta had in their day, but we ask for patience.
“Finishing high in the table would be a success on its own and in the Champions League we cannot expect miracles. The defeat against Bayern should be taken with perspective. The team should be supported, with words and with actions.”
Koeman has become increasingly spiky in recent media appearances as his role has become increasingly questioned. After the heavy defeat by Bayern he said he was tired of answering questions about his future and he had another heated exchange with journalists after the Granada game.
His relationship with the president, Joan Laporta, has also become more strained after he criticised Laporta in an interview with Dutch media for undermining him, saying he “says too much”.
Laporta has released two videos in the past week on social media addressing fans on the team’s predicament and also asking for them to be patient while the club deals with its colossal debt, which led to Lionel Messi leaving to join Paris St-Germain.
“Stay calm, we know what we have to do and we will fix this,” Laporta said in the latest video, released on Tuesday.
The vice-president, Eduard Romeu, told the Sport newspaper on Wednesday that fans would need to be patient with the club for the next two years.