Barcelona earned a 3-1 win over Leganes in which Carles Alena impressed, although he was substituted in the 64th minute. It drew some whistles from fans who wanted to see the young midfielder stay on.
"Alena had a great game, but we believed it was right to make changes at 1-1," said Valverde. "Rakitic and Messi are used to playing together and we bet on them to turn things around. That doesn't mean he didn't do well though.
"Arthur (who also went off) played a full game in the week, Alena didn't and today he played, we have to go onwards using them all because they're all important."
Barca won with a big impact from Messi after he came off the bench.
"We know that with Messi on the pitch we're going to create chances," said Valverde. "The capacity of intimidation he has is tremendous. WE saved him for the second half and it went well."