‘Athletic tired from Champions League’

Athletic Bilbao President Josu Urrutia believes the drain of the Champions League is part of the reason for the team’s poor form.

The Basques were beaten 5-0 on Sunday night by Real Madrid, leaving Ernesto Valverde’s team joint bottom of the table, with four points from seven games.

“There can’t be a good feeling after losing a game 5-0,” Urrutia said, AS reports.

“It’s a difficult time but you have to encourage the players and the coaching staff. We’re obliged to do so.

“We have to turn the page on these games as soon as possible. I’m sure we’ll get there.

“We have a good team and a good Coach. We have to be calm and create a suitable environment.

“When things go well, like last year, no one changes anything, but when results aren’t positive, we look around to find explanations.

“Obviously the Champions League wears you out but we already knew this would be the case.

“I think the squad is deep enough so that in all three competitions we can have the hope of doing a good job.

“About a month ago the situation was entirely different. It’s the same coaching staff, the same team, the same fans. The club is as great.

“The thing is that in four or five games we haven’t been successful.”

Tags Josu Urrutia