Luis Enrique: ‘I look at the forest’ as Barcelona look to seal Super Cup

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique says 'we're going to need all the players this season' as many second-choice figures are making their impact in the Spanish Super Cup.

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique. Andreu Dalmau / EPA
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Agence France-Presse

Luis Enrique believes his Barcelona side are well-positioned thanks to their depth, as they seek on Wednesday to finish claim to Spanish Super Cup after establishing a strong advantage in the first leg on Sunday.

Goals from Luis Suarez and Munir El Haddadi earned last year's La Liga and Copa del Rey winners a 2-0 victory against Sevilla and they have one hand on the trophy. But Barcelona will be without captain Andres Iniesta and defender Jeremy Mathieu, who injured their knee and hamstring respectively during Sunday's clash. New signings Denis Suarez and Lucas Digne were their replacements from the bench on the night and, having both impressed, are likely to start on Wednesday.

With the return just three days after the first match, it would be no surprise to see Enrique shuffling his pack.

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Neymar is still absent, at the Olympics, and Enrique must decide if he will opt for Arda Turan to replace him again, or if El Haddadi is the better option, while Andre Gomes and Samuel Umtiti will be hoping to make their official debuts.

“The players who started played very well and so did those who came on. We’re going to need all the players because we will be playing every three days,” said the coach.

“Some people focus on the trees but I look at the forest. These players have shown over the years how much quality they have. But we are just starting the season and playing for our first trophy so we have to look after them.

“We are all very excited about this chance to win the Spanish Super Cup, it’s the first big trophy of the season. And if you want to win titles, you need to be ambitious.”

Enrique was impressed by Sevilla’s performance at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, even though the scoreline looked comfortable for his team.

“It might be a good result, but it’s not a definitive one,” he added. “Every coach tries to implement his own style, and I like [Sevilla manager Jorge] Sampaoli’s a lot. He wants to win by playing the ball, by controlling it and by playing attacking football.”

Sevilla, meanwhile, have a mountain to climb in the second leg.

Sampaoli’s men impressed in the first half but struggled to create many clear chances and now find themselves in an extremely tough position going into the return fixture at the Camp Nou.

The Argentine coach believes playing against Real Madrid in the Uefa Super Cup last Tuesday harmed his side’s chances of victory in this competition.

“We came from 120 minutes against Real Madrid and had several casualties. The calendar has hurt us a bit and we’re feeling the weight of fatigue,” he explained after the defeat. “Hopefully we will play a more dignified role (in the return leg).”

Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico, who was his side’s outstanding player, agreed with his coach.

“We suffered in the second half because we were worn down after the other final,” Rico said. “I hope we win the next one. It’s home and away, and we will go there with all the hope in the world to put in a good performance and turn things around. All is not lost.”

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