Barcelona: Xavi backs new Barca boss

Barcelona midfielder Xavi

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Barcelona midfielder Xavi expects new boss Gerardo “Tata” Martino to be a success at Camp Nou.

Martino took charge of the Catalan giants last month after Tito Vilanova was forced to resign due to on-going health problems.

The Argentine coach has never managed in Europe before, but Xavi insists the former Paraguay and Newell’s Old Boys manager can bring more success to Barcelona in the season ahead.

“He is a leader, capable, prepared and has experience,” Xavi told Barcelona-based newspaper Sport.

“He is transmitting a lot to us. We are recovering a little of the intensity and rhythm that perhaps we lost for various reasons towards the end of last season. We are pressing very well and working well physically.

“He is adding things that he is influencing a lot. For example, on set-pieces we are working differently. We are adjusting and he is a guy that is very clear about what he wants.”

Barcelona are set to hand Neymar a competitive debut when they host Levante in their La Liga opener on Sunday, while Cesc Fabregas and Pedro are expected to be available despite missing Spain’s midweek friendly win over Ecuador with minor injury concerns.

However, the defending Spanish champions may be without star man Lionel Messi as he is struggling with a quadriceps injury and Carles Puyol is definitely ruled out having undergone knee surgery last month.

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