Martino wants Barca to build on Clasico triumph
MADRID - Agence France-Presse
Barcelona's coach Tata Martino smiles to his players during the training session at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper in Sant Joan Despi ahead of La Liga's season against Celta de Vigo, Barcelona, March 25, 2014. REUTERS PhotoBarcelona boss Gerardo Martino believes it is his side's own fault that they aren't in a more comfortable position in La Liga despite beating Real Madrid twice this season.
Lionel Messi inspired the Catalans to a famous 4-3 away at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday night as he notched his second hat-trick in as many games.
Victory brought Martino's men back into the title race as they now trail leaders Atletico Madrid and Real by just one point with nine games remaining.
However, the Argentine warned that his side can suffer no slip-ups of the kind they have suffered at Real Sociedad and Valladolid in recent weeks if they are to retain their title, starting with Celta Vigo's visit to the Camp Nou on Wednesday.
"Last weekend has allowed us to get back in the league. Now we have to continue playing well against Celta and what remains of the league season. We cannot make a mistakes," he said on Tuesday.
"Our wish is to perform at a high level and to have similar individual performances to those we had on Sunday.
"The competitions are entering their final stage and if we don't maintain that level it will endanger our chances of winning any titles.
"Generally, we need to be consistent. That is why we are not in a different position today, above all in the league. If we had maintained consistency in our performances and results, we would be in a much better position."
Martino has left Xavi out of his 18-man squad for the game against Celta with the Catalan derby away to Espanyol and a return to Champions League action against Atletico Madrid next week in mind.
Pedro Rodriguez, Alexis Sanchez and Marc Bartra are also likely to feature after being left on the bench at the Bernabeu.