Argentine delivers rallying call for the Catalan club.
Barcelona can still make progress in this season’s Champions League despite trailing AC Milan 2-0 from the first leg of their last-16 clash, according to midfielder Javier Mascherano.
“If we change a few things around I am sure we can pull it off. Barca have the tools to do so and have shown that in the past,” Mascherano told a press conference in Barcelona, a week before the clash with the Italians at the Nou Camp.
Former Liverpool star Mascherano said recent poor form — the opening leg loss and a pair of reverses to domestic rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish Cup and the league — were down to a loss of confidence.
“I think it is a question of confidence. When you lose your confidence starts to take a knock.”
In addition, Barcelona have been hit this season by the need for coach Tito Vilanova to take time out in New York, where he is currently undergoing cancer treatment.
“Our situation is unusual — a colleague, our boss, became ill… (But) the team is not losing because Tito is in New York but because we have to help ourselves and push a little harder,” said Mascherano.
He admitted that recent defensive frailties had not helped the team cause.
“From the start of the season we have been leaking goals. It’s an aspect which has become more noticeable now our overall level has dropped off. But we musn’t make excuses — we must collectively improve,” said the Argentine linchpin.
And he insisted the media should not paint a picture of crisis, doom and gloom.
“It’s a curious thing. Three weeks ago Barcelona were Disneyland and now we’ve gone to being the house of terror,” he said.
“If someone has doubts about our playing system then they should look back over the last five years and not just the past fortnight.”