Quique Setien praised Antoine Griezmann for doing a "commendable job" in Barcelona's 2-0 LaLiga victory over Leganes on Tuesday.
A goal from Ansu Fati and Lionel Messi's second-half penalty saw Barca restore their five-point lead atop the table, but Griezmann again largely struggled.
The forward had an effort ruled out for offside and he has just eight goals in 28 LaLiga games in his first season at Barcelona.
But Setien praised the France international, telling Movistar: "Griezmann is a boy who does a commendable job.
"He is an extremely important player."
Barcelona are yet to hit top form on the return from the coronavirus-enforced break, but managed to overcome LaLiga's bottom side.
Setien said he expected a challenge unless his side found an early goal, with Fati's opener coming three minutes before half-time.
"I knew the game was going to be difficult. Unless you have the fortune of getting it right at the beginning, which opens the game, it will be complicated. It has been so," he said.
"We started very well, but then we lost some balls and gave them life. It happened to us in the cup match [in January]. They could have scored, then we have already controlled the last 20 minutes.
"They close very well and defend very well. It is not easy to find spaces."
Barcelona's busy run of fixtures continues with a trip to Sevilla on Friday.