Isma Lopez: Bilbao fans will help us

Athletic Bilbao striker Isma Lopez feels the fans will help Los Leones come through the club’s disappointing start to the season.

The Basques got off the mark with a 2-0 win over Real Valladolid on Sunday, following a 5-3 home defeat to Real Betis on the opening day and a 4-0 mauling at the hands of Atletico Madrid the following week.

Lopez admitted at a Press conference that the beginning to the 2012-13 campaign has ‘not gone as planned’ despite him scoring two Europa League goals on his debut at San Mames against Slaven Belupo, but fully expects the Bilbao supporters to play their part.

“The fans are going to support the team as they always do,” declared the 22-year-old, who rejoined Athletic from Segunda B outfit Lugo during the summer having spent the previous season with Real Zaragoza’s second string.

Lopez confessed that he is slowly fitting in with the system of play adopted by boss Marcelo Bielsa.

“I am getting used to the style bit by bit because playing in La Primera is very different to playing in La Segunda, but the boss has put me in the team and I am grateful for that, so I’ll continue to work and give my best.”

With respect to possible reinforcements arriving after Athletic received special dispensation of one month to sign new players, Lopez acknowledged ‘there are always rumours of players coming in, but they will be well received’.

He was also asked his opinion on Fernando Llorente’s situation at the club after the Spanish international returned to full training on Wednesday following contractual issues and injury.

“He has always been the same. We see him very keen and wanting to take part and we treat him as one of us,” replied Lopez.

Tags Bielsa Fernando Llorente Isma Lopez