Barcelona boss Quique Setien says it was a shame that his side did not defeat Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey quarter-final encounter on Thursday.
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Barcelona head coach Quique Setién expects his team to ignore the current off-field issues affecting the club ahead of a key run of fixtures for the Catalans.

Barça face Eibar on Saturday before a trip to Napoli for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.

There is also the small matter of El Clásico taking place on March 1 as the club travel to Real Madrid in what could prove to be a La Liga title decider.

A series of issues away from the pitch have proven to be less-than-ideal preparation for Setién and his squad.

There was the fallout between Lionel Messi and Eric Abidal after the director of football had suggested the players had played their part in the dismissal of former coach Ernesto Valverde.

Barça have also denied allegations made by Spanish radio network Cadena SER this week relating to the hiring of a company to spread negative messages and inflicting damage to key figures associated with the club, such as Messi, on social media.

Howver, Setién insists this situation will not have a detrimental effect on the players.

Speaking ahead of the Eibar game, the 61-year-old said: “You’d think it might affect us, but the reality is it’s not like that.

“We’re focused on what we need to focus on. We’re focused on football matters.

“We know what goes on, but I can assure you it doesn’t influence anything.

“We’re not happy with everything, but I think we’re growing gradually and reaching a level that will allow us to compete with every team.”

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