Bielsa cautious despite Bilbao romp

Athletic Bilbao boss Marcelo Bielsa sounded a note of caution despite his side’s 6-0 Europa League romp against HJK Helsinki.

The Basques lost their opening La Liga fixture 5-3 to Real Betis last weekend after a troubled pre-season in which both Javi Martinez and Fernando Llorente were left out of the side, having admitted their desire to leave the club.

However, Los Leones got back on track in the first-leg clash against the Finns at San Mames, although Bielsa refused to go overboard about the result.

“Winning has very important healing powers in football but we can’t ignore the fact there is a game every three days,” the Argentine told a Press conference.

“There was a marked difference between the teams on this occasion and we should not read too much into it as it was against a weaker opponent.

“However, we attacked and defended well against a side that, based on our reports, we expected to be a lot better.”

Bielsa also emphasised that going from conceding five goals at home against Betis to keeping a clean sheet against HJK did not mean the team’s defensive problems had been solved.

“To assess our defensive performance we need to do it against more significant and powerful opposition.

“Perhaps Monday’s game when we take on Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon will be the time to evaluate it,” he added.

Tags Bielsa HJK Helsinki