Puyol worried by Barcelona's away-day blues

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MADRID, Nov 11 (Reuters) Barcelona captain Carles Puyol attacked his side's lack of spirit after a 2-0 away defeat by Getafe in the Primera Liga yesterday meant they missed out on the chance to leapfrog leaders Real Madrid.

They have managed only one victory on their travels in the league, away to bottom club Levante and have drawn three and lost two.

Striker Manuel del Moral put Getafe ahead after 28 minutes in the Coliseum and they successfully snuffed out a lethargic-looking Barca, securing the points with a Juan Albin goal at the end.

''Those responsible are the players as we are the ones who have to fight. I am worried. After every game we say the same things but another two weeks go by and the same thing happens again,'' Puyol told reporters.

''We try to play our football but our rivals put more into it than us and if we don't put more in we don't win. They played more as a team. You have to look at the way you lost and this is what worries me. We are not playing as a team and everyone can see that.

''We need to speak among ourselves but it is clear that we cannot continue like this. We are the first ones who want to forget about last season but what we are doing reminds us of last year.'' Barca's last visit to Getafe's stadium six months ago was a low point in the previous campaign, when they were knocked out of the King's Cup semi-final having held a 5-2 first-leg advantage.

They were humiliated 4-0 in the second leg and afterwards were widely criticised for having been complacent and for approaching the game with the wrong attitude. It came to symbolise the failings of the season.

Coach Frank Rijkaard said: ''Once again our play hasn't functioned and it is up to me to find a solution. We'll have to try something different to get points away from home.'' Barcelona's next match is away to Segunda B (third division) side Alcoyano in the last 32 of the King's Cup on Tuesday.

Reuters SSC RN1722

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