BARCELONA (Reuters) – Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has angrily denied claims by striker Lionel Messi that their hot run is down to a change in attitude.
The Catalan side have won their last 11 games in all competitions since they were beaten away to Real Sociedad in the first game back after the Christmas break and are breathing down the necks of La Liga leaders Real Madrid.
Luis Enrique and Barca’s key player had a reported bust-up in the dressing room following that game in San Sebastian but had apparently since buried their differences.
The coach has maintained the same line over the last month and half that Barca are a team in transition that have simply clicked into gear.
“I have no reason why I should change my opinion. It is due to a continual process over a season and nothing else,” Luis Enrique told a news conference on Friday.
He became visibly irritated over repeated questions about the comments from Messi ahead of Saturday’s La Liga game against Malaga.
“I am not interested in creating problems and so I am not going to discuss it further. If he thinks that way then that is fantastic,” said Luis Enrique.
“I am only giving my opinion. What I am interested in now is preparing for the Malaga game, if you’re interested in something else then that’s up to you.”
Luis Enrique then refused to answer more questions on the subject.
Messi, speaking at a publicity event in Barcelona on Thursday, had told reporters said that the Sociedad game was a turning point.
“Since that game in Anoeta there has been a change in attitude, there is a different spirit now when we go out onto the pitch,” he said.