Jose Luis Mendilibar doesn’t like derbies and doesn’t think that Osasuna should be labelled as favourites heading into the weekend’s derby with Athletic Bilbao.
The Pamplona outfit meet their Basque rivals this weekend off the back of a resounding first win of the season last weekend.
At the same time, their 4-0 win over Levante was matched by Athletic’s 2-0 defeat at Real Sociedad. Even so, it is not a situation that Mendilibar believes makes Osasuna favourites this weekend at San Mames.
“It seems that everything is now in our favour. I do not understand why,” he told the Press today.
“If we play with fear and terror, we will lose, but if we are brave and we go there to win, then we have a chance of winning.
“It appears on the street that we are favourites in this game, but I think not. People need to realise the difficulty of the game. Nobody is thinking it is an easy win at San Mames.”
Mendilibar was asked to talk of the feelings going into a derby. They were not positive.
“You reporters like this game more than me, because you can talk about it. It’s a derby. I do not like it, period. It costs us, and me as a Coach because I have never won at San Mames.
“Derbies are nice for you and the same for the fans, but nothing more. It is a game between neighbours, but we have to treat it as another game away from home.
“We have zero points on the road and we need to start picking up points and that depends not only on the home games.”
The Coach was asked for comment on Athletic’s difficult start to the season, but refused to suggest it was anything more than a poor run of form due to pass.
“Sometimes teams pass through these moments. Athletic is another team that is currently having problems, nothing more than that though. I do not want to emphasise it. They are a team when things are going well. Nothing more to add.
“They know their problems. If their Coach is asked what they are and he says he doesn’t know then I’m not going to answer from afar. They should fix them.
“We give too much importance to the games played. Everyone has dreams, but not all 20 teams can start well, like us. We are trying to improve and so are they.”