Luis Enrique has told Barcelona fans to whistle at him but not his players after the Camp Nou crowd voiced their frustration with the Catalans' performance during the dramatic 2-1 victory over Leganes on Sunday night (19 February).
Lionel Messi put the La Liga giants ahead in the fourth minute of the game as the Catalans tried to put behind them the recent 4-0 defeat by Paris Saint Germain in the first leg of the Champions League last 16. However, Unai Lopez equalised in the second half and Barcelona needed a 90th-minute penalty from the Argentinian ace to secure the three points.
Luis Enrique was booed by sections of the Barcelona crowd during the game, while Andre Gomes was also whistled at when he was taken off for Andres Iniesta with 10 minutes remaining.
"Yeah, I understand fans whistle at me. I am the manager and after the result the other day it's logic. That's part of my job. But not the players, they should be supported," Luis Enrique said to Movistar after the game.
"I know it's difficult but at this moment the players do not need whistles, but support and love to turn the things around. No, (I do not understand the whistles at Andre Gomes). I believe that whistling players on your team makes no sense, but everyone can show their discontent however they want. But what makes us stronger is when they support us and it [this treatment] with Andre annoys me.
"It's evident that the team's lacking confidence. The situation is that we knew it would be a tough game, but the truth is that everything looked well after an early goal. However, later they got back into the game when they had nothing to lose."
The victory let Barcelona keep dreaming with the La Liga title ahead of the crucial upcoming trip to Atletico Madrid. Yet Luis Enrique's side are one point behind Real Madrid in the table, although Los Blancos still have two games in hand and could increase the gap to four points in their midweek encounter with Valencia.
"Throughout the week we will weigh up and analyse what we have to improve. We know what confidence, solidarity and strength will bring good results," the Barcelona boss added in his press conference. "The win is good mentally. Now we go into a long week of training and I am sure we will improve at the Calderon."
Meanwhile, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu expressed his full support to Luis Enrique, despite recent reports in Spain suggesting that the club is ready to replace the Asturian manager once his contract expires at the end of the season.
"We agreed with him a while ago that we would talk [about a new deal] in April," Bartomeu said just before the win over Leganes. "Now it is time to focus on the games that are coming up. Luis Enrique is the coach that we want, he is doing a fantastic job, and with the exception of Paris, we are happy with results."