Xavi, a la roda de premsa.

Xavi, at the press conference. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

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"Everything is at stake and we have to be positive". They are the two concepts that Xavi reiterated in his press conference. The second captain stood up after the painful defeat by Real Sociedad, that put Barça three points behind in the title chase. "We are training hard, in an unusual  week, without a game. Because of last Saturday we’re angry with ourselves. We know it’s the hour of truth, and we can’t fail any more", Xavi Hernández said.

Along these lines, and with the Madrid derby coming up, he stressed: "We are depending on ourselves and that helps us be positive. We are ready for Sunday and it’s a good opportunity to get the three points back that we lost. Every match now is vital……….all three teams are candidates and Barça are the reigning champions. We are in a good position to win the Liga, all three titles. Everything is intact, we'll be optimistic, at least from within" he added.

Side by side with Martino

Regarding the match against Real Sociedad, Xavi admitted: "Nothing went for us, we went to a back three, but it still didn’t work out (in the defence). Some days the opposition are better, and we don’t play well. That’s football". So, Xavi was on the side of coach Martino, who was especially self-critical in San Sebastian: "When you lose they look for someone to blame, and this time it was the coach and that‘s not fair. We all got it wrong."

Some days the opposition are better, and we don’t play well

Martino's words indicated that he showed "humility and self-criticism": "The boss is transparent, what he says to the press he says to us". He added: "He has a very clear philosophy of how to play. He is a natural leader, a group player, eager to win". In the last two workouts they have seen Tata: "Motivated, very intense, calm and very sure".

Tata? Motivated, very intense, calm and very sure

Personally, Xavi confessed: "I get angry not taking part, like all players, it’s only human, but with total respect".  He concluded: "I feel comfortable when I see a lot of people in front of me, and I feel uncomfortable when we don’t dominate a match ."

Clarification

At the press conference, Xavi took the opportunity to clarify the speculation saying that in Anoeta it was his own decision to stop warming up and going back to the bench. "The coach is the boss. My education does not allow me to make decisions over and above the coach. I would never in my life do that. This is the Barça philosophy. They told me I wouldn’t be getting on, so I returned to the bench”.