Andoni Iraola reflects that Real Madrid’s home matches with Athletic Bilbao have a reputation for red cards, but claims confidence in the referees this time.
Three of the last four meetings between the sides at the Santiago Bernabeu have seen an Athletic player dismissed.
“At the Bernabeu, the balance of red cards is higher than normal, but it cannot be put down only to the referees, it has to be game by game and I have no doubt that the referee this weekend will do things correctly.
“For the good of all, that of the players and his own, I hope that things go well,” commented the full-back at today’s Press conference, before reflecting on what sort of shape he expects the weekend’s hosts to be in.
“I am convinced that Real Madrid will be at the best they can be. This week you cannot say that the national call-ups have disadvantaged the,, because some of theirs have not gone this time and we also have four players called out.
“Even without playing well they can win. Against Zaragoza they did not play well and they still took three points.
“They are a team that punish the slightest mistake, so you always have to stay focused and if you concede a goal then it must be because they deserved it, rather than because you made a mistake.
“We’ll try not to allow them to play their way. We have much confidence, for the difficulty we have caused in recent years and the points we have taken before now.”
Iraola also chose to make clear that Athletic will not be changing their game-plan in light of seeing Real struggle against Levante in an aggressive encounter.
“We will behave as we do against other teams, when you play against any other team you come across all kinds of instances, even more controversial but that have not got the same impact.
“The referees have to understand that this type of game has more looking at it, the mistakes have a greater impact, they know this.”