Jimenez exchanges days off for wins

Real Zaragoza Coach Manolo Jimenez has told his players not to be headless chickens when they face Athletic Bilbao tomorrow.

The Blanquillos travel to the Basque country aiming to leapfrog their hosts with a win.

“We want to play a good game and try to get something positive at a difficult ground like San Mames,” the former Sevilla trainer told reporters.

“Athletic have a very clear philosophy and are brave. If we are like headless chickens we will provide spaces. Historically Athletic are dangerous in the air, but now they have great technique.”

Jimenez will look back on 2012 fondly having rescued Zaragoza from relegation last season.

“Let us remember the past. It was not me who saved Zaragoza, we were all together. If we are together it is not easy to take points from us.”

Jimnenez had a slightly bizarre way of describing his team’s attitude tomorrow.

“The holiday starts when we’re in the showers at San Mames, with the homework done. We’re thinking about days of rest and being with family, that’s only human, but above that we are professionals.”

Lastly the 48-year-old revealed a pact he has made with his players – half days off in exchange for victories.

“It’s a deal I made with them, two wins, in the Cup, against Levante and at Vallecas. I give them half a day for each win. But we couldn’t win against Levante.”

Tags Manolo Jimenez