Ander Herrera has warned his Athletic Bilbao teammates and the fans that the club still face a very real threat of relegation.
The Basques head into Monday night’s Week 29 fixture at home to Granada four places and eight points above the drop-zone, but with their midfielder in tense reflection.
“We are aware and we want the fans to be too, that this is an absolutely crucial game,” commented Herrera to reporters this week.
“Around the games against Real Madrid and Barcelona, we must face sides who are fighting for their lives, like us, so the game against Granada is the game of the year.
“I have experienced two relegation fights with Real Zaragoza. In one of them we were like Deportivo are now and we managed to get out.
“Athletic will fight until the end. Hopefully we will do enough to escape from it, but we must be realistic in that football does not live in the past, and our situation is worrying.
“I think 42 or 43 points are needed, as in the end the underdog always picks up extra. I sincerely believe, and also prefer to think we will be motivated, because otherwise we would be in a form of relaxation that does not suit us at all.
“We have always maintained a margin about the relegation zone, except for the week we went to Pamplona, when we got to within three points and we saw the fear in the fans.
“But now we are back to eight and it seems like no-one is looking down with concern. We want you to be aware that the situation is dangerous.”