Barca players must share responsibility for poor run: Kounde

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Barcelona players must shoulder the blame for the club’s dismal performances this season, defender Jules Kounde said, as the reigning Spanish champions find themselves eight points off the top spot in La Liga.

Barca suffered a heavy defeat against old rivals Real Madrid in the final of the Spanish Super Cup last weekend, losing 4-1. The Catalan side also sits behind this campaign’s surprise package, Girona, Real, and Athletic Club, in the Spanish top flight.

With pressure mounting, a 3-1 win over fourth-tier Unionistas de Salamanca in the Copa del Rey round of 16 on Thursday was a welcome boost for Xavi’s team.

“At the end of the day, you can talk about the coach, but we (the players) are the ones out there on the pitch,” Kounde, who was one of the goalscorers against Unionistas, told Movistar.

“When there are bad results, it’s also our fault, of course. We had to react tonight. This game was important, and we have to move forward with intensity, which is what I think we have lacked this season.

“Winning the Copa is one of the objectives, and after a tough defeat on Sunday, we needed to show a reaction. We put in a serious performance.”

Barca will next visit Real Betis in the league on Sunday.