The FC Barcelona squad is with coach Gerardo Martino "to the death," midfielder Andres Iniesta said Tuesday, stressing the players' share of guilt for last weekend's 3-1 loss to Real Sociedad.
"The responsibility is always everyone's, but at the end, it's we the players who play," Iniesta said during a promotional event in Barcelona.
"The coach trusts the team to win. He always wants what's best for the team and, in this sense, the players don't doubt the coach, quite the contrary," Iniesta said of Saturday's defeat, which dropped the defending La Liga champions into second place, behind archrival Real Madrid.
Martino acknowledged after the loss that he had been mistaken to rest several key players for the clash with Real Sociedad.
The Argentine coach was forced to watch the second half of Saturday's contest from the stands after the referee chased him from the bench over an angry exchange with a member of the Sociedad coaching staff.
With 13 matches remaining in the season, Barça has 60 points, while Real Madrid has 63.
The Blancos face crosstown rivals Atletico Madrid - also with 60 points, but a game in hand - next weekend.
Iniesta refused to be drawn Tuesday on which side he would prefer to win the Madrid derby.
"You never know what's best, but ultimately we are one match away from being the leaders," the midfielder said. "We have to confront both (teams) and it serves no purpose to want one or the other to win if we don't do our part." EFE