Iraola: Derby important for points

Andoni Iraola has reflected that the Basque derby with Real Sociedad will be vital for Athletic Bilbao, for the points it represents as much as anything else.

Athletic host La Real this coming Friday night with more than local pride at stake, with the San Mames outfit going into it off the back of defeats to Espanyol and Malaga to leave the side just six points above the relegation zone.

“Obviously the derby is a special game, with many conditions to it, but on top of that is the situation in the table that we find ourselves in,” the full-back told reporters after training today.

“It makes the importance of the points high. I have played in previous derbies that have been very important for the table, but I am not sure if Real see this game as vital as we do.

“We come fro two painful losses, we are in a bad situation and with not many games to go.

“Real have four, five or six players that rotate and change position, they are dynamic and can play inside or out. We must be vigilant and organised, we must do well in defence.

“In the end, when in the situation we are in, every point is valuable and it is uncomfortable for the two to three weeks that we have had, but I am confident in what I see and that we can improve things.”

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