Barca boss Martino unhappy with season`s work
Barcelona: Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino has admitted that he has been disappointed with his own performance in his debut season in charge of the Catalans as they look set to miss out on a major trophy for the first time in six years.
Martino`s men were beaten 2-1 by Real Madrid in the final of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday to seal a terrible week as they lost three consecutive games in three different competitions.
The first of those defeats also saw them eliminated from the Champions League by Atletico Madrid and their chances of retaining their La Liga title are fading after losing to Granada in La Liga last weekend.
"I can`t in any way take positives from my work, I don`t have that feeling," Martino said on Saturday.
"You manage everything because of the expectations and when the results don`t come, nobody can be happy.
"Apart from the Supercup, which is already forgotten about, to be out of two competitions and have little chance in a third naturally means I can`t be happy."
Barca lie in third place in La Liga, seven points adrift of leaders Atletico, but they can move back into second with victory over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday as Real don`t play this weekend.
Atletico also still have to travel to the Camp Nou on the final day of the season and Martino insists his side won`t give up until matters are mathematically beyond them.
"The gap seems bigger due to what has gone on in the past few weeks, but it would be a mistake to already be thinking about next season when mathematically we still have a chance.
"We need just one slip-up from the two sides in front of us. Whilst we have a chance, the team will not give up under an circumstances."
One of the key reasons for Barca`s poor form has been the performances of Lionel Messi as the four-time World Player of the Year was held scoreless in all three defeats and had very little impact in any of those games.
Martino, though, believes his compatriot is just suffering from comparisons to his normally high standards and laughed off suggestions he could leave the club in the near future.
"Players sometimes have good games and sometimes bad games. We don`t need to give it such importance.
"What has happened is that Leo is used to doing everything magnificently. I believe his future is at Barcelona until he stops playing football."
Martino also has an injury crisis to deal with for the visit of Athletic as Jordi Alba and Neymar have been ruled out for up to a month.
Carles Puyol has also been ruled unfit due to ongoing knee problems and Sergio Busquets is suspended to 22-year-old defender Sergi Gomez has been drafted into Martino`s 18-man squad.