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The Dutchman still enjoys the full faith of the man currently sitting in temporary charge in the boardroom at Camp Nou despite mixed recent results

Barcelona interim president Carles Tusquets has offered his full backing to Ronald Koeman ahead of the second half of the season.

Barca slipped eight points behind La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid having played a game more after being held to a 2-2 draw by Valencia at Camp Nou on Saturday.

Mouctar Diakhaby opened the scoring for the visitors when he headed home unmarked in the box on the half-hour mark, before Lionel Messi levelled with a header of his own just before the interval – equalling Brazil legend Pele’s record of 643 goals for one club in the process.

Ronald Araujo’s spectacular volley completed a swift turnaround for Barca in the 52nd minute, but they were ultimately unable to hold onto their advantage. Maxi Gomez restored parity when he stabbed home Jose Gaya’s powerful cross, and neither side could find a winner in the final 20 minutes of the game.

Barca are now in real danger of drifting out of contention in the Liga title race, with a crucial trip to Real Valladolid up next on Tuesday.

It has already been suggested that Koeman is on borrowed time in his role in the Camp Nou dugout, but Tusquets is still certain he is the right man to take the club forwards.

Asked if the Dutch manager’s job could soon come under threat, Barca’s caretaker president told Deportes Cuatro“I am not in charge of anyone. Koeman is doing well, with great judgment and has my full support.”

Tusquets added on Koeman’s current state of mind amid his side’s mixed domestic form: “I have gone to eat with him several times and I see him optimistic.”

The former Netherlands head coach said a lack of self-belief cost Barca in their latest La Liga outing, while insisting there is no “attitude problem” within the dressing room.

“It was a difficult game. We fought back but have to be more focused,” Koeman told Movistar post-match. “We made more of an effort in the second half to win the game but didn’t create as many chances as we wanted. 

“I don’t think it was to do with an attitude problem. There was an irregularity to the whole game. We lost balls and doubted ourselves.”

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December 20, 2020