Abelardo spoke to Busquets senior before the game / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Sporting Gijón manager Abelardo Fernández was at the Miniestadi on Saturday, and while speaking to the press, expressed his admiration for his former Barça team-mate Luis Enrique. “He is fully capable of leading this Barça team” he said of his fellow Asturian. “You can see what he has done with his teams and Barça have improved in many ways on last season”.

“It’s better for these defeats to happen early in the season” he continued. “The team has to go from less to more. He has an extraordinary squad and I’m convinced they’ll win titles this year.

Abelardo also discussed the work being done by psychologist Joaquín Valdés. “It’s a fundamental role” he said. “He is an Asturian like me and Luis Enrique, we have friends in common and he’s a very valid person. Having someone like him by your side helps you through certain periods. He knows how to treat the players. I think he’s a very important member of the group.”

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