This is the circus we are involved in - Barcelona boss Setien unfazed by talk of being sacked

By Daniel Lewis 4 July 2020 7
This is the circus we are involved in - Barcelona boss Setien unfazed by talk of being sacked

Barcelona head coach Quique Setien insists he "does not spend a minute" thinking about his future amid speculation he is close to being sacked.

The 61-year-old's position has been called into question following a run of three draws in four matches that leaves Barca four points adrift of LaLiga leaders Real Madrid.

Setien was handed a two-and-a-half-year deal when succeeding Ernesto Valverde at Camp Nou in January, but club icon Xavi is reportedly being lined up to take charge.

However, the former Las Palmas and Real Betis boss says he takes no notice of the rumours and is instead focused on Sunday's trip to in-form Villarreal.

"I don't spend a minute thinking about that," he said at his pre-match news conference on Saturday. "I focus on what I have to focus on, which in this case is Sunday's game.

"This is the circus we're involved in and we accept it, but I don't waste time listening or reading [speculation]. I know there is noise being made but I have to focus on my own job.

"It is not the first time that I have experienced it, nor is it the first time a coach has lived through a situation like this when they don't win a game."

Setien is said to have been summoned to a meeting with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu and other members of the board following Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid.

But the Spaniard did not get the impression from the face-to-face talks that he is on the verge of losing his job.

"I have said I am not going to reveal the conversations we had that day, but I didn't sense that, not at all," he said.

Barca could find themselves seven points off top spot by the time they face Villarreal should Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao earlier on Sunday.

Unlike the reigning Spanish champions, fifth-placed Villarreal have hit the ground running since the restart by taking 16 points from a possible 18.

"I don't know if they are the best or [one of] the best teams returning from isolation," Setien said of Sunday's opponents.

"They are doing things very well, with a lot of talent and players in good form, who defend well and who are going to compromise us a lot because they are playing at home.

"But we played a pretty good game against Atletico and I hope we are at that level and get through the game."

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