Small Barcelona squad doesn't concern me, says Setien

By Sports Desk February 01, 2020

Quique Setien insists Barcelona's depleted squad has more than enough quality to compete on multiple fronts during the second half of the season.

Barca allowed four players to leave Camp Nou during the January transfer window, with Moussa Wague, Jean-Clair Todibo, Carles Perez and Carles Alena departing on loan.

The Spanish champions did announce the signings of Brazilian midfielder Matheus Fernandes and Portuguese forward Francisco Trincao on deadline day, but they will not officially arrive until the end of the season.

Barca host Levante on Sunday and Setien is unconcerned at the number of players at his disposal as they look to retain their LaLiga title and win the Champions League for the first time since 2015.

He told a media conference: "We have fewer players now but we've got a B team behind us and those young players are ready. Some are already training with the first team and we're getting a chance to look at them. I'm sure they will help us out when we need them.

"You could think the team is weaker, but you never know that. Sometimes things can turn out differently. You can guess what might happen but I wouldn't waste your energy."

Asked if he prefers operating with a smaller squad, Setien said: "What hurts me, and always had done, is picking teams and having to leave players out. I like to have fewer players. That way, everyone is plugged into what you're doing.

"There is a risk attached to that sometimes but it's good to have a smaller squad. People have more chance of playing; they're ready and more motivated.

"Having 18 real players is better than having 25 or 26 not playing. That can cause more danger than having a smaller squad."

Barca resume their Champions League campaign later in the month with the first leg of their last-16 tie against Napoli.

Despite having fewer players to call on, Setien is sure his side will be in the mix during the latter stages of the competition.

"If I was one of the opponents, I wouldn't count Barca out," he said. "Yes, you can always have a bad day. Of the six, seven or eight candidates, only one can win; that's the reality.

"I'm convinced we will be in contention. We're excited about it. We have a chance, like all the other big teams do. No more or less than any of those."

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