Ernesto Valverde says the Supercopa is “everything” to Athletic Bilbao ahead of Monday’s second leg against Barcelona.
Los Leones smashed four past the Catalans in last week’s first leg to leave them within touching distance of a first trophy since 1984, but the Coach has called for caution from his players, with their opponents expected to give as good as they have.
“They want to achieve something historic by winning every trophy in a single year,” he began at a Press conference on Sunday.
“Six trophies mean a lot to them but not the same as for Athletic after so long without winning one.
“[The first leg] was a historic result but only a step forward because we must do it all again in the return leg. It could mean little or mean everything.
“No-one in the dressing room thinks the job’s all done because they know what Barca are capable of.
“Four or five days ago, I spoke to some fans and they told me that we didn’t have to take the Supercopa seriously because it falls in pre-season.
“However, we now have an extraordinary lead to defend. To some extent, we’re not faced with much pressure of winning a trophy.
“Still, we mustn’t lose sight of the goal or start the match watching the clock against opponents who are superior in many aspects.
“There are other things like solidarity and hard work that we have put on the table if we want to get near their level.
“Technically, tactically, offensively and defensively, it’s difficult to reach their level of perfection when they play well. In this respect, we can’t look at them as equals/
“I’m a little concerned about the effort we put in the other day. I want my team to be fresh so I may make some changes.”