Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino insists Lionel Messi's absence from the squad to face Malaga in La Liga will not be used as an excuse for a poor performance.

The Argentine was ruled out of Sunday's encounter following a thigh injury against Atletico Madrid in the Supercopa first leg in midweek.

Although Martino says the 25-year-old's omission is a precautionary measure against aggravating the injury further he expects the team to produce the same levels of performance that they have achieved during his reign to date.

“We have a lot of really good players to produce a good game and we mustn’t use Messi’s absence as an excuse" he told the club's official website.

Meanwhile Martino says that Messi's time on the pitch will not have any impact on how many games Neymar plays.