17 October 2014 16:09
Luis Enrique insists Barcelona’s focus is on Saturday’s opponents Eibar rather than La Liga’s goalscoring record or El Clasico next week.
Barca welcome Gaizka Garitano’s side to Camp Nou on Saturday with Lionel Messi needing just two goals to equal Telmo Zarra’s current Spanish top-flight benchmark of 251 goals.
Also, Barca could be forgiven for having one eye on next Saturday’s first clash of the season with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
But even with the Catalan giants heavy favourites to see off Eibar – promoted from the Segunda Division last term – Barca’s coach is confident his side will not let their concentration wander.
“We haven’t spoken about any records. All that interests us is the collective good of the team. I’ve not heard any comments about it in the locker room either,” he explained on Friday.
“Our attention is focused only in getting the three points against Eibar. Records are always something that will be achieved but they’re not our aim. Our aim is to win games and nothing more.
“We’ve got a number of different games coming up in a very short space of time so I have to be conscious of everything; the form of the players, the long journeys they’ve had, what I see in training, who the next games are against, everything.
“I haven’t seen any signs of relaxation or distraction. The players are used to all the rumours. What I can guarantee is that they’ll go out there on the pitch without any distractions.”
Next week’s clash with rivals Real will likely see Luis Suarez make his debut for Barca, with the game coming a day after his four-month ban for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup expires.
Luis Enrique looked to play down fears over the fitness of the Uruguayan and that of Pedro, stating the latter will start Saturday’s game against Eibar.
“It’s a problem I’m blessed to have with these players. It’s fantastic and it’s great to have such competition. I see Luis Suarez training every day. It’s hard to say if he’s 80 per cent, 90 per cent or 100 per cent fit,” he added.
“But what I do know is that he’s in very good shape.
“Pedro has been training every day, is 100 per cent and I can reveal that he will start. It’s not normal for me to do that but now I’ve said it.
“I don’t know why there’s been rubbish said about his fitness because he’s in perfect shape.”