Luis Enrique warns hot-starting Barcelona ‘the final objective is a long way away’

Luis Enrique's Barcelona side have won all five of their competitive matches so far this year, but the first-year manager doesn't want his side to get ahead of themselves.

Luis Enrique shown at a Barcelona press conference on Saturday. His team have four wins from four La Liga matches this season. Alejandro Garcia / EPA / September 20, 2014
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Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has urged his side to keep their feet on the ground despite a flying start to the season which has seen them win all five games in all competitions.

The Catalans have already opened up a four-point lead over La Liga champions Atletico Madrid and a six-point advantage over eternal rivals Real Madrid after just four league games.

However, Enrique insists the true title credentials of all three sides won’t become clear until well into the New Year.

“Last year there were three outstanding teams that barely lost which made for a very exciting championship. This year it could be the same, or it could be different,” he said on Tuesday ahead of his side’s trip to Malaga on Wednesday.

“Valencia and Sevilla also look very good and I am sure Atletico and Real Madrid will be up there fighting with us. We have only played four games so it is all still to come.

“From March we will see not necessarily which teams will win the title, but at least which teams are in the position to compete to win it.

“It is September 23. We want to improve after every game and continue winning points, but the final objective is a long way away.”

Worryingly for Barca’s rivals their 100 per cent start to the campaign has come with Uruguayan star Luis Suarez still serving a four-month suspension he picked up for biting an opponent for a third time in his career at the World Cup in June.

Suarez won’t be available for a return to action until Barca’s first clash with Real Madrid this season on October 25, but the coach confirmed he will continue to step up his match fitness by playing in a friendly between Barca B and Indonesia Under-19s on Wednesday.

“From a coach’s point of view it is beneficial that he plays. This one is a bit different because it is not with his team, but the youth team and against another Under-19 team.

“There are a lot of caveats, but we have spoken and the player wants to play despite it being in a different context and so he will play the minutes (Barca B coach) Eusebio thinks best.”

Other than Suarez, Enrique will have a full squad to choose from for the trip to Malaga as Ivan Rakitic and Neymar have recovered from minor knocks they suffered in the 5-0 thrashing of Levante on Sunday.

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