Luis Enrique has slammed criticism of André Gomes as he prepares for Barcelona’s Champions League quarter-final against Juventus in Turin.
The Portugal international was one of several players to come under the spotlight after Saturday’s surprise defeat to Málaga after missing a glorious chance to equalize.
Gomes is in contention to start against Juve on Tuesday, with Sergio Busquets suspended for the first leg, and Enrique has hit out at the midfielder’s critics.
“André Gomes? I think it is pathetic what's going on with some players, I have to defend them,” he told a pre-match press conference.
"Busquets for us is a vital player but we are prepared to replace him.”
Enrique also promised an attacking approach against Juventus who have gone 21 home games without tasting defeat in the Champions League.
“We have to play good football, because Juventus’ numbers are stunning,” he added.
“They’re at the height of their story, and what it means to be in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
“We have to play a great match though, regardless of where we’re playing and it will certainly be difficult to overcome an opponent of this magnitude.
“Are they better than in 2015? They’re similar, they have players who are gone, but there are new players who have made the squad stronger and I think they’re a team of the highest level.
“I can tell you what we’ll do, you can ask Allegri what they’ll do. I’ve seen Juve put pressure on, I’ve seen them play behind the ball, I’ve seen them in defence, I’ve seen them in midfield…
“I think that they dominate all phases of the game and we’ll do the same thing, our approach will be to look for the win from the start.”