Lionel Messi: defensive teams cause Barcelona problems

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Messi believes that not having a plan 'B' against defensive teams has cost Barcelona in the past.

The Catalans have been criticised in the past for continuing to use their possession-based style of play against teams who have a sole focus on defending and sitting back.

Messi has acknowledged that Barca would be better off if they had an alternative way of playing incase their existing game-plan fails.

"Teams that sit back and solely defend tend to cause us problems and have knocked us out in the past," the Argentine told TyC. 

"There have been moments where we have paid a heavy price for not having an alternative game-plan.

"Think about teams such as Chelsea (2011-12) and Jose Mourinho's Inter. AC Milan and Real Madrid have also played us in the same way this season."

He also went on to emphasise the importance of having Tito Vilanova back as soon as possible.

"The players know each other well and all know how to play, but you need the coach for a lot of details.  Of course, we have a lot of respect for Jordi Roura, but Vilanova's absence has been a blow.

"Tito is a very intelligent guy and knows how to transmit his ideas to the players.  He knows his football.  He's different to Pep Guardiola." 

The good news for Messi and his teammates is that they can expect Vilanova to return to the bench in the near future after the club's sporting director Andoni Zubizaretta's statement at the weekend indicated he is almost ready to return.

Barcelona are still on course for a La Liga and Champions League double, but the way Messi talks of Vilanova's absence means the sooner he returns the better for the Catalans.

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