Manuel Iturra has declared that whilst Malaga are intent on doing their best against Porto next week, they cannot afford to lose focus this weekend.

The Costa del Sol outfit face the Portuguese side in the first leg of their Champions League Last 16 clash next midweek, but not before, reminds Iturra, facing Athletic Bilbao this Saturday evening.

“We really want to win against Porto, but we are also aware that before playing in the Champions League we have a very important game this weekend against Athletic, and we have our eyes focused on that,” the Chilean reflected today.

“Athletic suffered a rather painful defeat in their own field and we need to keep adding to the League tally for a Champions League qualification position. This year it is very close.

“Knowing Marcelo Bielsa, his team will attack with great intensity and this will be a game with many individual duels.

“Athletic will not speculate, they will push for all three points.”

Iturra was asked how the relatively small-sized squad Malaga now have are preparing for the test of playing big games on the Saturday and the Tuesday in the coming week.

“[Coach Manuel] Pellegrini is a very experienced man and he knows how to handle these situations, whilst Malaga have a very competitive team.

“All the players who are here want to play as many games as possible and we know that when one player is absent another can come in and do just as well.

“We are all pulling in the same direction and want what is best for the team.”

Tags Bielsa Iturra Pellegrini Porto