Jonas: Athletic in same boat as us

Valencia striker Jonas believes Athletic Bilbao’s fortunes have mirrored those of Los Che so far this season.

Both sides have surprisingly struggled in the opening seven games, having identical records of won two, drawn two and lost three, and with just two points separating them from the relegation zone it is an unfamiliar situation they find themselves in.

However, the Brazilian international feels there is too much quality in both sides for either to be languishing around the lower reaches of the table for much longer, although he is hoping to steal a march on Marcelo Bielsa’s team by beating them on Saturday.

“Athletic possess lots of quality and are going through a tough time like ourselves,” he told a Press conference. “We are hoping to win against them so we can begin a sequence of victories and get some consistency, which is the most important thing.”

Jonas insists that fans will need to be patient despite the disappointing start and is convinced a win will give the whole team a lift.

“We must be patient. We are upset to not be in a better League position but we are working hard and one win can change everything,” maintained Jonas, who emphasised that boss Mauricio Pellegrino was not responsible for how the team has played.

“He is very relaxed and comfortable at the club. It’s not his fault, it’s ours. We need to change things and put together a run of victories. He does a lot for the team and we can learn a lot from him. We must stay calm, take things step-by-step and continue improving together.”

After a great end to last season and a good pre-season the South American’s form has dipped recently, along with the rest of the team.

“I’ve got to do better, the same as everyone else. I’m working to improve my form and find some consistency. It will be good for me and everybody else.”

Despite the demands of the fans at Mestalla, Jonas is convinced the players will be able to count on their support against the Basques.

“We know they are upset but they always get behind us from the start and we are counting on them. We know that if they are with us then we’ll start winning.

“If Athletic think they are coming to Mestalla to take advantage of the current situation then they will be mistaken,” added the 28-year-old, who maintains he is happy at the club despite reported interest from Tottenham Hotspur.

“I’m very happy here and I’ve still got a long while left on my contract. I want to stay and complete my contract,” he added.

Tags Jonas Los Che Pellegrino Tottenham Hotspur