Setien unapologetic over Griezmann


FC Barcelona coach Quique Setien has defended his stance for introducing forward Antoine Griezmann in second-half stoppage time during their 2-2 draw with his former club Atletico Madrid.

Griezmann joined the Spanish giants after they activated his €120-million buyout clause from Atleti in the off-season but the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner has endured a torrid debut campaign.

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Setien left Griezmann on the bench for three of their last four LaLiga games and his one-minute cameo left his former manager Diego Simeone 'without words' in the post-match press conference.

But Setien has defended his actions after opting to bring on teenager Ansu Fati earlier on in the encounter before the 29-year-old forward.

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"The problem is not everyone can play," Setien told Movistar. "We have to make decisions. Maybe it wasn't logical to bring him on [that late], but it was worse to not do so.

"A player like him can always do something. We didn't bring him on before because the team was doing well, Riqui [Puig] was doing well.

"We always try to have [Luis] Suarez and [Lionel] Messi on the pitch. It is difficult to find a place [for Griezmann] without destabilising the team."

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Setien added in the post-match press conference that he's got total faith in Griezmann but won't apologise for leaving him on the bench to watch the club drop points for a second consecutive fixture.

"I don't agree with that I have no confidence in him," he explained, as per ESPN. "I will speak with him [on Wednesday].

"I won't say sorry, because [it's about] decisions, but I understand he may feel bad, and I feel bad for him because he's a great person and a great professional."

Griezmann has scored 14 goals and registered four assists in 41 games across all competitions this season, while Barcelona could be seven points behind in the title race to Real before they take on Villarreal on Sunday.

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