Messi had spoken after Thursday's 2-1 loss to Osasuna, although on this occasion he was much more measured having blasted Barca as "weak" in midweek.
"We were self-critical from the inside, which is what we needed to do," Messi said. "We realised a number of things, firstly that we have not had a good season in terms of performances or results -- as can be seen.
"I think today was a step forward in terms of attitude and commitment, which is what we must always have. Things can go one way or another but I don't think we can be beaten for desire. We have to go out with the same desire as our opponent, or even more, and the performances stem from that.
"It's a big moment because we're going to be playing for something important. You don't need to have the captain's armband on to realise what we've done (this season). We're all conscious of the fact we have to be much more consistent. As the coach said the other day, there were games when we were very good in spells, but we have to maintain that over 90 minutes and in all games."
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