Ernesto Valverde made it clear he’s still strong enough to continue at Barcelona following their painful Champions League exit at Liverpool.
Despite being on the verge of winning back-to-back domestic doubles, Valverde’s future at Barcelona has been put under some extreme doubt after their horrific mid-week defeat.
Upon winning the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie 3-0 against Liverpool at Camp Nou, Barcelona were handed a humiliating 4-0 defeat at Anfield on Tuesday to be eliminated from the competition.
It marked the second consecutive season the Blaugrana had blown a three-goal aggregate led in the knockout stages under Valverde.
Despite this setback, however, the 55-year-old retains the full support of the club board and is eager to continue.
“I feel strong, I’m good,” said Valverde on his future, via Marca.
“I want to take the next step, I won’t hide behind a rock.
“I feel like I’m in the Great Escape, they’ve just caught me and I’m in the punishment cell, I want to play tomorrow’s match.
“I’ve spoken to the president and he has always made me feel supported.
“After a blow like that, everything wobbles, we know what this show is like, if something like this happens you have to break and burn it all, but then you have to put it all back in its place.
“[Josep Maria Bartomeu] has given me his complete support.”
On how the Liverpool defeat has affected the team, Valverde added: “We’re hurting, I won’t deny it, we have a responsibility to ourselves and our fans,” the coach admitted.
“We can lose a knock-out tie, the problem is how we lost it, we weren’t good in the second half, it has been painful, there’s no other option but to look forwards and we have to take the next step.
“It feels like our legs weigh more, but there’s no other way to get over this than to get on with it.
“The bad weighs the most because it’s the most recent, the defeat wasn’t 1-0, it was 4-0 and it matters at clubs like this, this group has the ability to excite people.”
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane also voiced his support for the struggling Valverde earlier today.
Barcelona will take on Getafe for their penultimate La Liga match of the season at Camp Nou on Sunday. Kick-off will begin at 18:30 (CET).