Gurpegui: Valverde still the same

Athletic Bilbao captain Carlos Gurpegui says boss Ernesto Valverde is still the same person who left the club eight years ago.

Valverde, a former Bilbao player, was in charge of Los Leones from 2003 until 2005 and Gurpegui feels the 49-year-old has not changed following his return to San Mames during the summer.

“Only Andoni [Iraola] and I were here at the same time as Valverde and he’s still the same person I knew,” the experienced 32-year-old told a Press conference on Wednesday morning.

“This year is a big one for both fans and players and we are all expectant. It will be important to start well in La Liga, get the supporters excited and correct the mistakes we made last year.

“After a difficult season we now hold out great hopes and are looking forward to getting back up to the top.”

Gurpegui is still waiting to hear whether Athletic will be offering him a new contract, but claims he is relaxed about the situation.

“There are two options. The club either renews my contract or doesn’t. At the moment I’m just focused on training,” he added.

Tags Valverde