Athletic Bilbao defender Xabi Etxeita has revealed the way in which new boss Ernesto Valverde wants his team to play next season.
“Little by little he is explaining what he wants from each of us, placing great emphasis on the ball with the defenders trying to play it out from the back.
“He also wants us to be organised and, when we don’t have the ball, to apply pressure and recover it quickly,” he told reporters after training.
The 25-year-old believes the Basques have the potential to make an impact next term, but feels they should not set any early goals and take each game as it comes.
“It’s important to start well and then gain the confidence that will see us enter the final stages with the chance of doing something important.
“The fact we will be playing at our new San Mames home is another incentive for motivation and hope. It will also be exciting for the fans and hopefully we can make this the best season possible for them.”
On a personal level, Etxeita confessed his main aims were to earn a place in Valverde’s starting line-up and continue improving.
“Every season I’m trying to improve in a footballing sense and I want to try and establish myself in the starting line-up with some good performances,” he maintained.