Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez is under increasing pressure following the club’s recent performances which has forced him into criticising some of his players.

Youngsters Pau Cubarsi and Lamine Yamal have been given more playing time in the previous two games due to injuries, while Robert Lewandowski is no longer playing every minute when he is fit, as he did earlier this season.

Lewandowski was substituted while Barcelona hunted for a win against Real Betis and Athletic Club, as Xavi did in their first game of the new year against Las Palmas.

Xavi was asked about Lewandowski’s stats, which have been somewhat lower since he began scoring frequently at Borussia Dortmund.

“In the last four games, he has scored three goals, perhaps there is a feeling that he is not sharp in his controls or giving the final pass. He will continue to be important, he is a natural leader. We must improve and the locker room is very united,” he said.

“I have not seen a human quality like it. We have to be more concentrated in the first minutes and we are looking for solutions so that the season ends up being a good one.”

Lewandowski has recently received harsh criticism, but Xavi has avoided substituting him in games until now.

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