The midfielder has warned a change in the dressing room would not make a difference to the beleaguered club
Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has warned against sacking manager Ronald Koeman, despite Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat to Benfica in Europe putting more pressure on the already troubled organisation.
De Jong suggested Koeman was not the reason the Blaugrana have won just one of their past five matches and slumped to their worst-ever Champions League start.
Koeman, meanwhile, acknowledged the support of his players after the Benfica loss as he struggles to come to terms with the extent of the recent downfall.
“I can’t talk about Koeman, it’s not for me to say,” De Jong told reporters. “I don’t think changing the coach can solve anything.
“We are trying everything, working hard in training, we are trying our best on the field but today was not our day, that is clear.”
Sergio Busquets agreed with his team-mate, saying: “In the end the easy thing is to [sack Koeman]. But we all have a responsibility. We are in a critical situation.”
Koeman, meanwhile, hailed the attitude of his players while admitting uncertainty about how club executives view his status.
Said Koeman: “I feel supported by my players and their attitude. I don’t know about the rest. I don’t know about the club.”
If Barcelona do dismiss their head coach, Roberto Martinez would be a leading candidate to take over right away.
Goal reported this week that the sides have been in discussions, though no concrete deal for the Belgium manager has been agreed upon.
The Blaugrana are believed to want a replacement lined up before sacking Koeman.