Aritz Aduriz is 'thrilled' to be competing in another Basque Derby this weekend, having re-joined Athletic Bilbao in the summer.
The 31-year-old signed from Valencia over pre-season for his third separate spell at San Mames, and admits he cannot wait to play against Real Sociedad on Saturday.
“I am thrilled to be facing another derby,” Aduriz told AS. “Of course, I didn't come back to Athletic just to play in the derby. But sometimes life takes unexpected turns – I have a great desire to win the game.”
The former Spanish international commented on the threat Philippe Montainer's Sociedad pose, and on both teams' poor starts to the season.
“No one is satisfied with how our season has started, and we have many things we can improve on. I guess Real Sociedad think the same, but going to Anoeta is always frightening.
“They have great attacking players, very fast players that can cause a lot of trouble.”
The former Real Mallorca forward also remarked on the situation surrounding Fernando Llorente, Coach Marcelo Bielsa's decision to leave last year's top goalscorer on the bench for the first few games having allowed Aduriz to prosper with three La Liga goals.
“Having Llorente in the squad is a luxury. It is very important that he stays with us. He brings many things to the team. The fact he is on the bench presses us all on to do better.
“We have played together, and it's a situation I've experienced in many other teams, with other strikers. The other side is that it could be good for us to have such good alternatives.”
Aduriz concluded with praise for Bielsa, and his football philosophy.
“He is a Coach that when he speaks, you must listen carefully. You learn a lot from him. His approach to the game is awesome.”