‘We know we have to be stronger defensively,’ he said after Barcelona failed to win for the third match running.
‘Last season we were difficult to score against and now teams score against us from the slightest chance.
‘We can’t be conceding goals in every game. We have to get better.’
Barcelona conceded their eighth goal of the season so far in the 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao – last season they reached the half-way point of the campaign only having let-in nine goals.
On Wednesday against Tottenham, coach Ernesto Valverde will not be helped by the absence of two first team defenders.
Right-back Sergio Roberto has been ruled out with a thigh strain sustained in the second half against Athletic and Barcelona are already missing suspended central defender Samuel Umtiti.
Valverde tried to rest Messi and Sergio Busquets on Saturday but he had to bring them both on to help salvage a point.
Luis Suarez said after the 1-1 draw:
‘Messi is the best in the world but we cannot depend on him coming on to provide a solution. We can’t rely on him or on Busquets. We have to be winning before they come on.’
‘We have the players to not need to depend on any one individual. Recent results have not been good but it is a long season.