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Xavi admits to 'mistake' in failing to motivate Barcelona following shock Rayo Vallecano defeat

00:44 SAST 2022/04/25
Xavi Hernandez Barcelona Head Coach
The Spaniard believes he failed to give his side the impetus they needed to deliver victory following another surprise loss on home turf

Barcelona coach Xavi says he made a "mistake" in failing to give his side proper motivation for their game with Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, after the Blaugrana were downed 1-0 at Camp Nou.

Alvaro Garcia's early finish handed the visitors a rare league double against their hosts, who failed to find a response throughout, mere days after losing on home turf against Cadiz.

Those defeats have effectively ended the slim hopes of contesting the league crown with Real Madrid, who need only a point to wrap up the title - and, speaking afterwards, Xavi admitted that he came up short in terms of pushing his side to perform.

What did Xavi say about his errors?

"Mistakes cannot be repeated," Xavi told his post-match press conference. "We must be self-critical. It's our reality. We have to match the desire, the desire of our rival.

"We were excited about a good run, with the good games in the Europa League. Now, it is not very motivating to fight for second place for a club like Barca, but we have to improve.

"We have to go into the games better. In the first half, we were not good. In the second better. We tried everything but the situation is difficult.

"I recognise as a coach that I made a mistake in not motivating them."

What did Xavi say on turnaround?

Despite their recent losses and Europa League exit against Eintracht Frankfurt, the former Blaugrana midfielder has masterminded an otherwise impressive turnaround in form since succeeding Ronald Koeman in charge.

"We have lost two games at home that we had to win against Cadiz and Rayo," he added. "But we arrived in November when the team were ninth, with emergencies in the club.

"These are games that are complicated, but it is football. We have to think about Mallorca, disconnect [from this result] and prepare for this game. There are five finals left."

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