‘Athletic can’t play with a name’

Ernesto Valverde has told his Athletic Bilbao players that more is needed to overturn the Europa League deficit against Zilina than simply turning up.

Athletic trail 3-2 from the away leg and host the Slovakians at San Mames on Thursday night looking to recover the game and reach the competition’s group stage.

“We can’t just go out and play with our name,” AS quotes Valverde as saying.

“The team has always responded and I hope they do again. But we need a situation that we had earlier, that level of concentration and strength and value of our opponent, because we’re aware we went wrong over there.

“This is what happens every season. We’re not even in September and we’ve had several big games already. It’s crucial because we’ll either be in our out of the competition.

“Zilina are a team who take a lot of risks, with great spirit and they will make it complicated. We’re aware we need a high pace and a strong start.”

Tags Ernesto Valverde