Guardiola: We must raise our level further

Spanish champions Barcelona are playing very well but they have to step up a gear said coach Pep Guardiola on Monday.

Barcelona trail bitter rivals Real Madrid by six points after a surprise 1-0 loss to Getafe on Saturday and Guardiola called on his players to show they had taken on board his advice as they look to get back to winning ways on Tuesday against Rayo Vallecano.

"We have been playing very well already this season," said the 40-year-old, who in three years at the club has guided them to three league titles, one Spanish Cup and two UEFA Champions League trophies.

"But apparently that is not good enough. Therefore it is imperative that we raise our level. Will that be sufficient to be champions? That I cannot answer."

Our away form has cost us. But even away we have not always deserved to drop points.
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola

Guardiola, who enjoyed a stellar career as a player with Barcelona collecting six league titles and the 1992 European Cup among other trophies, did however concede that Real Madrid have been the better side so far this season.

He also admitted that his team had struggled with results away from home, where they have taken just nine points from a possible 18. "Our away form has cost us," he said. "But even away we have not always deserved to drop points.

"In all our matches away from the Camp Nou, we created more chances than our rivals. But again that wasn't good enough. We will therefore have to do better from now on."