Soccer: Soccer-Xavi seeks fan backing as new Barca boss prepares for Espanyol check


BARCELONA (Reuters) – New Barcelona supervisor Xavi Hernandez issued a rallying cry to the membership’s supporters on Friday, asking them to get behind the workforce as he prepares for his first match accountable for the facet in opposition to native rivals Espanyol in LaLiga on Saturday.

Barca are ninth within the desk on 17 factors, 10 factors behind fierce rivals Actual Madrid and 11 adrift of leaders Actual Sociedad and Xavi – who took cost this month following Ronald Koeman’s sacking – mentioned his workforce wanted their followers now greater than ever.

“Right here I stand asking our folks to be on our facet. There will not be an absence of angle. You could be positive we’ll give it our all. We ask you to return assist us,” former Barca midfielder Xavi mentioned in Friday’s information convention.

The Camp Nou can accommodate greater than 99,000 followers however Barca have struggled to attract crowds amid their struggles this season, with somewhat over 37,000 followers current on the venue for his or her 1-1 draw with Alaves.

It was their lowest attendance for a weekend league recreation in 20 years.

“We’re Barca, we have to stick collectively. When you give your all such as you did the day I used to be offered, it is good for me,” Xavi, who signed his contract in entrance of hundreds of followers earlier this month, added.

Barca sealed a slender 1-0 win the final time the groups met in July 2020 and Xavi mentioned he expects a troublesome check in opposition to their opponents, who earned promotion to the highest tier this season.

“There shall be a whole lot of stress and we have to management our nerves… I instructed the boys they should keep calm on the pitch as a result of they’re going to face rivals who’re properly ready,” Xavi mentioned.

“I am much less nervous now as a coach than I was once I was a participant. I am pleased to be dwelling and I am trying ahead to the sport.”

(Reporting by Fernando Kallas; Modifying by Shrivathsa Sridhar)

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