Luis Enrique was speaking after training at the Ciutat Esportiva / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

[[DES_1]]“I manage my teams with common sense, the least common of the senses” said FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique in a press conference today where his frank, straight-talking nature shone through as much as ever. Every time he appears before the media, he seems to be answering each question with more and more confidence, giving the impression of a man who puts the team before all individuals, and for whom the only statistic that ultimately matters is the number of games won.

"My only obsession is making this team better” he said. “There are many factors involved, but we just have to work to get better and to shape these ideas into something that works for the team. The first step is to beat Malaga in the fifth game of the league season, and it’ll be a difficult match, as any away match is. Here we have the added difficulty of a tough opponent. Complications are going to appear. We just have to create more than they do and win the game by playing better.

My only obsession is making this team better

He added that “we have to defend as eleven when they have the ball. Malaga play as a unit, and have players like Roque Santa Creu and Rabat. But we’re also worried about Horta, Duda, Castillejo ... I’m worried about what they can do with long balls. With set pieces …. It’s not going to be an easy match, but that’s just an added motivation to keep on winning points.”

Luis Enrique seems to discuss his defence a lot in these conferences, and with five clean sheets in five official outings this season, things are going well in that department. “I still think we’ve got a lot to improve in defence” he commented. “And we will improve. That doesn’t mean that we’re not going to concede goals or lose matches. But the team needs to perform much better at the back. We haven’t always gone about things the right way in these matches, but people notice it less because we haven’t dropped any points … It’s an on-going improvement process, and a search for the context in which we are strongest.”

I think we need to vary our attacking methods more

Still on defensive issues, Mathieu’s name came up. “We signed him because he’s a centre back who can add something to the team” said Luis Enrique. “He can play at full-back, on the left, he’s very versatile. He has everything it takes to be a very useful player for us.” And as for Gerard Piqué, "his attitude is wonderful. I love the way he behaves. He’s so optimistic, such a good person. He is in perfect condition to help us.”

Rakitic scored a long-range cracker against Levante, and the FCB manager was asked whether he felt his team should shoot more often from such positions. “We’re trying to encourage the midfielders to dare to shoot more” he admitted. “I think we need to vary our attacking methods more. Any shot could lead to a goal, so we’ll keep working on that.”

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Suarez to play for Barça B in Wednesday friendly

Barça B will be playing a friendly behind closed doors on Wednesday afternoon against the touring Indonesia U19 team, but there will be an added attraction. Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez, whose suspension ends on October 24, will be playing. “He’ll get as many minutes as Eusebio sees fit" said Luis Enrique. "It’ll be good for the player, but it’ll be a different match. He won’t be playing with his team and it’ll be against an U19 team …. But Suarez needs to get into the rhythm of playing matches.” The game will not be open to the public, although the media will be in attendance.