FC Barcelona

Ronald Koeman responds to Barcelona job security speculation

Toby Cudworth
Koeman is under the cosh, but he's a little perplexed as to why
Koeman is under the cosh, but he's a little perplexed as to why / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Ronald Koeman has hit back at suggestions he could be sacked as Barcelona manager if the Catalan giants fail to beat Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey final.

The 58-year-old has overseen a transitional year at Camp Nou after succeeding Quique Setien as manager, dogged by inconsistent results and another disappointing Champions League campaign.

But despite many feeling that Koeman is not up to the task of managing Barça, they are very much in La Liga's title race heading into the closing stages of the season and do have the chance to lift silverware in the Copa del Rey.

Lionel Messi, Ronald Koeman head coach
Koeman has had difficulties winning big games this season / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Performances have significantly improved since Koeman opted to switch to a back three, and he's admitted that he can't understand why his job may be at stake given Barcelona's recent lengthy unbeaten run.

"It's a little bit strange that I need to answer these type of questions because we had a run of 19 games without losing," the Dutchman said, quoted by BBC Sport. "We're losing one game and I already need to talk about my future?

"Maybe I need to accept this. I have one more year of contract. I know it's a big pressure and I can handle that but sometimes it's a little bit strange."

Barça are favourites to overcome Athletic - who lost the rescheduled 2019/20 Copa del Rey final to Basque rivals Real Sociedad just two weeks ago - but must overcome the fragilities they've shown in big games this season.

Real Sociedad
Real Sociedad's reign as Copa del Rey holders will be brief / CRISTINA QUICLER/Getty Images

Regardless of the outcome, Koeman is confident that he has the support of new president Joan Laporta, who was recently re-elected following the controversial departure of previous incumbent Josep Maria Bartomeu.

"I've got another year on my contract and I know what'll happen if we win or if we lose," Koeman added. "I've spoken with the president and he's shown confidence in me. I don't think that every time something is written about a coach the president should have to give him a vote of confidence."