We are not machines – Pique defends Suarez

Amid criticism of Luis Suarez, Barcelona defender Gerard Pique accepted fans would have their say.

Luis Suarez has scored in one of four league fixtures this season and was substituted in the second half against Villarreal.   -  Getty Images

Gerard Pique defended Luis Suarez, reminding fans that players were "not machines" amid criticism of the Barcelona forward.

Suarez was substituted in the second half of Barca's much-needed 2-1 win over Villarreal in LaLiga on Tuesday.

The Uruguayan forward has scored in just one of four league games this season, netting a brace against Valencia, leading to criticism.

Pique accepted fans could have their say, but said players were trying their best.

"I understand the people, they pay the entrance fee and they deserve to express what they feel," he told reporters, via Marca.

Read: Pressure eases on Valverde as Barcelona overcomes Villarreal

"We would like to win all the games, but the players are people and emotionally and personally we have our life and it is difficult to yield 100 per cent and we are not machines.

"We try to do our best. I wouldn't give it more importance. We have to focus on Getafe."

Goals from Antoine Griezmann and Arthur helped Barcelona past Villarreal, easing the pressure on head coach Ernesto Valverde.

Pique said Valverde deserved more credit after winning back-to-back LaLiga titles and a Copa del Rey.

"There is very little memory with Valverde, as few coaches have won two leagues and a cup in their first two seasons," the defender said.

-Pique blames pre-season for Barca's slow start-

The centre-back blamed Barcelona's pre-season fixtures for its slow start to the campaign after a 2-1 win over Villarreal on Tuesday.

Barca eased the pressure on head coach Ernesto Valverde with its victory at Camp Nou, moving onto 10 points from six LaLiga games.

While not wanting to make excuses, Pique felt Barcelona's pre-season – the LaLiga giant travelled to Japan and the United States – has impacted its start to the campaign.

Lionel Messi made his first start of the season after recovering from a calf injury, only to come off at half-time due to an adductor problem.

"The pre-season did not help at all to start well in the competition, a lot of travel and little training," Pique said. 

"Many of us notice it and we don't have the tone yet, not only Messi, but we must continue because we are forced to win, it is a setback. 

"Look now what has happened to Messi, but there are no excuses, in the team there are qualified people to replace him and move on, although we hope he will be out as short as possible.

"There are quite a few players who have not achieved the tone because it is what it is. I do not know the severity of his [Messi's] injury and I hope it is as little as possible.

Read: Pjanic strike sends Ronaldo-less champion top

"There are no excuses. Although it is the best there are no excuses in Barcelona, although the pre-season was not the best."

Goals from Antoine Griezmann and Arthur helped Barca past Villarreal, who pulled one back through Santi Cazorla.

Pique said the three points were vital for Valverde's team as it sits a point behind league leader Granada.

"It was important to win so as not to disengage from the top teams. With both goals and Leo's injury, the team has pulled back a bit," he said.

"They have advanced the lines and marked us. In the second half, it was difficult."

Barcelona makes the trip to Getafe in their next outing on Saturday.

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