Valverde unfazed by Garcia stance

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Ernesto Valverde has responded to Luis Garcia after the Espanyol striker blamed his physical fitness on his goal drought and hinted that the coaching staff were to blame.

The Parakeets' coach has left the former Mallorca star out of the squad for a friendly against St Etienne to allow him extra time to train in Barcelona with the players recuperating from injury.

"I am not going to deny that I am also worried because he has not scored for five games," said the coach. "But his remarks can be taken in several ways.

"He blames his physical condition and next it will be because of the coaches and then the kit man and so on.

"If he is tired then you should ask him if he is capable of playing two matches in one week.

"Anyway, I am not a cynical person and I think he was talking about his physical fitness only."

Rumours persist that senior players at the club wield the power in the dressing room and Valverde hinted that could have given Garcia the confidence to speak out.

"The problem is why he has come out and said this and that is one of the biggest problems we have at Espanyol," the coach concluded.