Valverde ‘comfortable’ at Athletic

Athletic Bilbao Coach Ernesto Valverde offered little when asked about his chances of Coaching Barcelona next season.

The Champions League chasers were beaten by Barca on Sunday and after the match, AS reports that Valverde faced questions both on his future and the trajectory of the game.

“Is my staying here negotiable? I’m flattered by the comments,” Valverde admitted.

“On whether it’s negotiable or not, I have a contract with Athletic and I’m comfortable here.

“A week ago Barca were in three races, and now just one. Whoever lost the Cup final was going to be in crisis.

“I’ve played at Barca and that’s how it is. Sometimes they win a lot but this year hasn’t gone as expected.

“We were aware that Barca have been criticised at home. We were focused on our game and with our goal people began to get a little bit nervous, but there was time.

“The same thing happens at San Mames. People demand a lot and it can bother you but also pushes you on.

“This is football. Today Lionel Messi scores and the people are happy. But I’m more worried about Muniain than Messi.”

Valverde was asked about Athletic’s approach at Camp Nou and revealed he had considered a defensive approach, but thought better of it.

“We thought about being more defensive but decided to play to our strengths and play our game. It was a risk we were taking,” the Coach continued.

“We had the opportunity [to get a second goal] through Susaeta. I thought we could get a draw.

“Before our goal they had very clear chances. With the goal we took a step back and then they did too at 2-1. It’s very difficult to win here.”

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