Setien promises to be direct with Messi and Barcelona's other stars

By Sports Desk January 14, 2020

Quique Setien insists he will not be afraid to be direct with Lionel Messi and Barcelona's other superstars, though he is confident his relationship with the squad will be excellent.

Setien was appointed as Barca's new coach on Monday after the club elected to part ways with Ernesto Valverde despite being top of LaLiga.

It is by far the biggest role of the 61-year-old's coaching career, with his most recent job being at Real Betis, who he left at the end of last season.

However, Setien has no doubt his attacking, possession-based style of play will suit Barca, though he is adamant hard work must always come first.

"I've spoken to the players and the willingness is extraordinary," Setien said at a media presentation on Tuesday.

"I said not just to Messi but to others, that I've enjoyed watching this team and players on TV. They allowed me to really enjoy football, it's been every day, every game.

"There's always something that's enjoyable to watch. Obviously today, being able to coach the best player in the world and his team-mates, I'm still not sure what that means.

"One thing is your admiration for someone, then there's the reality – Messi is Messi, [Gerard] Pique is Pique, [Sergio] Busquets is Busquets, I'm sure my relationship will be extraordinary with everyone.

"They'll see what I'm like, sincere and direct, I don't beat around the bush, I say if I see something I don't like, I try to fix it. 

"We are sure we are going to understand each other very quickly because a lot of the things we will propose to them, they already know.

"Hard work is the most important. Conviction also, but real hard work. I will listen to everybody, but it is difficult to take out of my mind the ideas that I have and am convinced about."

One player Setien will be without for the immediate future is striker Luis Suarez, who is set to miss four months after undergoing knee surgery.

The coach is yet to decide how he will set his team up without such a crucial figure leading the line.

"We've a lot of things to talk about, so we've not had time to talk about this," Setien, who oversaw training on Tuesday, added. 

"We've not seen enough to analyse this perfectly, but I'm clear we're always going to have a consensus in decision; they listen, I listen. 

"We all make mistakes, we all get things right. We have an important player out, but we must think about the players we have got. 

"We'll possibly go 4-3-3 or 4-4-2, because that has been played a lot recently, but I'll leave that to one side because we need to speak to the players."

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