Bielsa admits qualification difficult

Athletic Bilbao Coach Marcelo Bielsa has admitted that qualification from the Europa League group stages may be beyond his team.

The Basque club lost 3-1 away to Sparta Prague on Thursday, and the Argentine tactician has conceded that without a win in their first two Group I matches, getting to the latter stages of the competition could be out of reach.

“The fact is that we have lost to rivals that are inferior to us,” he told a press conference after the game. “That is the reality and we cannot ignore it.

“Today's match was key to try and get points off of our rivals, but we could not take that opportunity. It is going to be difficult [to qualify], but in no way is it over.”

The former Argentina boss also acknowledged his culpability in the recent run of five games without a win.

“When we finished attacks they found it easy to organise themselves,” he said. “That's a tactical aspect that has to do with positional issues – that is my fault.

““We cannot ignore recent results.”

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