Gerard Pique is confident Barcelona’s fans will be fully behind the stuttering champions against Real Madrid next weekend after admitting his side’s La Liga dreams are at risk unless they start producing on the pitch.

Barcelona will go into the first Clasico of the season six points behind leaders Madrid after drawing 1-1 with Real Sociedad on Sunday.

That result followed on from a goalless home draw with Malaga the previous weekend and left Pique questioning his side’s title hopes, performances and attitude heading into one of their biggest matches of the season.

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Asked if Sociedad were better, Pique said in quotes reported by AS: “Yes, by play, but above all by attitude.

“In the first half the team weren’t there. In the second half we improved but playing like that it will be difficult to win La Liga.

“The leaders [Real Madrid] have moved two points further clear but that’s what concerns me least now.

“At times you can win a game while losing in style of play, but the other thing [attitude] is more worrying.”

Luis Enrique’s men, who have also lost to Celta Vigo and Alaves in the league this season, are next in action on Wednesday when they travel to Hercules in the Copa del Rey.

On Monday, AS reported that Lionel Messi sat out training and that Pique has experienced ankle soreness.

Barca have home matches against Madrid in La Liga and Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League, and Pique is sure his side’s fans will rally behind the team for the visit of Zinedine Zidane’s unbeaten pacesetters.

The Spain centre-back said: “It’s a very important match and I know that the fans will respond.

“We’re playing against a great team, the best in the league, because that is where they are now. Right now they are the best team in this league.”

His fellow defender Jordi Alba, who is a fitness doubt for the upcoming matches, added on the club website: “When an opponent plays better we have to admit it. We aim to play a good game in the cup, before focusing on El Clasico.

“The game against Madrid is one that we all want to win. If we win we will be able to fight for La Liga.”


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