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Barcelona coach Luis Enrique: Squad can handle Messi absence

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique insists they can handle Lionel Messi's injury absence.

The Argentinian maestro limped off with an adductor injury in Wednesday's home draw against Atletico Madrid, with many reports suggesting he may not return until the Champions League clash with Manchester City, led by his former mentor Pep Guardiola, on October 19.

Enrique: "I hope we will see the best of Neymar and Suarez, but they will not be asked to give any extra because they give me everything in every game. The whole team are going to have to find other means without Messi, but I won't be asking them to give extra.

"With Messi we are stronger, but we still have a great squad. We hope that he recovers as soon as possible."

Asked whether Messi's absence would lead to a change of system at El Molinon, Luis Enrique said: "I always look at different options but anything I can do not to give clues to our opponents, the better. I contemplate everything but I don't want to give any clues."

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Paul Vegas

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