Barcelona president Joan Laporta on Saturday
gave his vote of confidence to under-fire manager Ronald Koeman, saying the
club will not sack the Dutchman anytime soon. Laporta said Koeman deserves time and confidence
and insisted he has faith the Dutchman can still turn things around at Camp

His comments came ahead of Barcelona’s clash against champions Atletico Madrid on Saturday, which was rumoured could be Koeman’s last. However, Laporta brushed aside those runours, saying Koeman will continue regardless the result. 

“Today, regardless of the result, Koeman will still be Barcelona’s coach. He has a contract, we hope that he can get us back on the winning path, playing the way we want. I know he will give it his all,” Laporta told reporters in Madrid. 

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The Catalans are off to their worst-ever start in the Champions League
after losing both their opening games against Bayern Munich and Benfica 3-0
without registering a shot on target.

Meanwhile, Barca are seventh after three draws
and three wins from six games in La Liga, although they have a game in hand against
leaders Real Madrid. But given their dismal form, the Blaugrana are favourites
to lose against Atletico.

Laporta said the Dutchman will be given time to change Barca’s fortunes and get the club
back to competing at the highest level.

“Ronald Koeman will continue as the coach
of Barca, he deserves a margin of confidence. Koeman is a cule and a reference
point for Barcelona. I have spoken with him and I have drawn my conclusions. I
really appreciate that he is leading Barca at a time of difficulty,” Laporta

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He also said the club’s fortunes will
change with the return of a string of first team players, including Ousmane
Dembele and Sergio Aguero. Ansu Fati recently made a goal-scoring return from a
long-term injury layoff, giving fans something to cheer about.

And Laporta expects the return of the rest
of the stars will bring about more cheer. “When our injured players recover, we
will have more of an edge. (Koeman) has had moments of discouragement but he
has recovered his spirit and now that our injured players are recovering, he
deserves to have time and our confidence,” the president said.