Setien: It is fair to ask why some incidents are reviewed by VAR and others not

Setien: It is fair to ask why some incidents are reviewed by VAR and others not

Barcelona coach Quique Setien remained tight-lipped on his opinions about the refereeing controversies that occurred in Real Madrid's 2-1 victory over Real Sociedad on Sunday night.

The Blaugrana face Athletic Club on Tuesday night and Setien decided to concentrate on his own club's affairs.

"There are things we cannot control. And that don't depend on us. We just have to win," Setien said during his press conference.

"About yesterday's match, everybody has seen what happened, everyone will make their own judgements."

Setien is under no illusions that Athletic Club will be a tough encounter for his side. The Basques have already beaten Barcelona in LaLiga Santander this season and they also knocked the Catalans out of the Copa del Rey.

"We all know Athletic, they are a tough team, difficult to hurt, they defend well," he said.

"Patience can be a virtue at many times.

"You have to avoid their counter-attacks.

"In the Copa, when we were at our best, the goal that took us out of the competition came at the end.

Barcelona are equal on points with Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga Santander but are now in second place due to goal difference.

"It's true that goal difference puts us below," he added. "But we still have the same amount of points.

"They [Real Madrid] can't make any mistakes either.

"Many leagues have been resolved in the last few games.

"Things are still the same. We're behind, but there are eight games left and we have the same idea of winning every game and being there until the last one.

"I knew we had to win almost everything, just like them."

With controversies caused by the VAR reviews in the Real Sociedad-Real Madrid match, there has been a lot of focus on referring decisions and how they might impact the title race.

"I'm focusing on us," the Barcelona boss said.

"We have footballing problems, but I'm very happy with a lot of the things we're doing.

"We've won two and drawn one. We've scored six goals and we haven't conceded a single one.

"VAR is a tool we have that can make us better.

"But we must use it and have a clearer vision of reality.

"It is fair to ask why some actions are reviewed and others are not.

"It can lead to the idea that it is not being used well."

Dutch central-midfielder Frankie de Jong went off injured in Barcelona's 4-0 victory over Mallorca, and Setien still isn't sure when he will return but hopes he'll play some role before the 2019/20 season is over.

"Let's hope he plays before the league ends," Setien said of the situation. "He has a small injury and it depends on his progress.

"But I'm sure he'll be able to play some games.

"He is a quite complete footballer, not only because of what he can do with the ball but also due to his physical capacity.

"We have to adapt. I have confidence in those who will be in his position."

Barcelona haven't lost at home in their past five games, but have lacked the same kind of consistency on the road.

"It's difficult to explain, I don't know why," said Setien when asked about the difference in form.

"The approaches are the same as at home.

"Maybe the opponents come here more afraid and get weaker.

"Maybe away from home you don't have the level of confidence you have at home."

Barcelona and Real Madrid have similar schedules leading into the end of the 2019/20 LaLiga Santander season, both sides have four home and away games left to play, with tough tests ahead.

"I don't think there is a big difference in terms of schedule with Real Madrid.

"They have to play against difficult and tough teams, like us.

"Yesterday they won when they could have drawn, like we did at Sevilla.

"In all the matches anything is possible. There is always a moment when the rival can hurt you.

"We can all have a hard time. Everything is uncertain."

Barcelona were top of LaLiga Santander when former coach Ernesto Valverde was sacked in January and Setien has come in for some criticism for letting that lead slip and not giving youngster enough of a chance.

"There are things I agree with, and other things I don't," said Setien about his critics.

"In general, I'm quite satisfied with the chances we have to improve things.

"I don't pay much attention to what I read.

"The reality is that I think the same as when I arrived.

"I didn't say that the academy products were going to play.

"Those who are in the first team have a quite high level.

"If I saw that the youngsters would do better, they would have more minutes.

"But it's my perception, and the decisions I take are consistent."

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