Valverde: Athletic ready for EL

Ernesto Valverde believes Athletic Bilbao are ready to begin their Europa League campaign by facing Inter Baku but warns against complacency.

The Basques host the Azerbaijanis on Thursday evening and Valverde told a pre-match Press conference that pre-season has been a success.

“I think we’re in good shape and we’ve had a positive pre-season,” he said, Marca reports.

“Our opponent is unknown to much of the public, but being favourites always has more to it.

“The team is mentally prepared to face what lies ahead. We’re here for what we fought for by finishing seventh. And we won’t endanger that with an excess of confidence. Once the competition starts you have to take advantage of the opportunity.”

Valverde was also asked about the fine handed to Athletic after the national anthem was whistled prior to the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona.

“I won’t say anything about that matter. Just remember the words of our President,” he said.

“We’re still waiting for the prize they have to give us and the congratulations for the behaviour of our supporters, having been there and with 60,000 fans. Anything else is old-fashioned.”

Tags Ernesto Valverde