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Valverde unconcerned by Luis Suarez’ form; Iniesta keen to grow

Ernesto Valverde has backed Luis Suarez after criticism over his poor form for Barcelona so far this season, whilst the striker himself has responded.

The Catalan side were fortunate to beat Sporting Lisbon in their Champions League fixture on Wednesday evening but never the less, they secured all three points thanks to a deflected Lionel Messi free-kick.

Messi has been in typically sensational form this season, but that is in stark contrast to the form of former Liverpool striker Suarez, who has just two competitive goals.

The Uruguayan failed to find the back of the net against Sporting on Wednesday evening and both he and Valverde were forced to respond to questions about his form in their post-match interviews.

“He scored on Saturday so I think we can leave him in peace for a while,” Valverde told reporters after the match.

“He didn’t score today and of course we always want him to score as he is our striker, but he is always near the goal.

“Today he had a good opportunity but couldn’t score but he is always close to scoring and he was close today for the goal we did score.”

Suarez, who was visually upset when being subbed off in Lisbon, has also responded to slight critique,

“It does not matter that I didn’t score,” Suarez is quoted as saying by Spanish daily Marca. “The important aspect was our performance helped to take the three points in a complicated match, we have to adapt to what is happening in the game and the Coach knows how to use me.”

Barca sit top of their group with two wins out of two, whilst in La Liga they have six wins out of six – putting to bed heavy doubts at the start of the season on their capabilities this season.

A return home to the Camp Nou on Sunday afternoon where they host struggling Las Palmas, is likely to see them head into the international break with 21 points out of 21.

Captain Andres Iniesta, who has featured more than most expected this season also spoke to press following the game and he has spoke of the squad’s desire to work together and grow.

“We are trying to do everything Ernesto (Valverde) asks of us, we are trying to understand his way of working but things are going well.

“The important thing is to work well and gain confidence, from that situation the team will grow.”

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