Valverde surprised by Malaga malaise

Athletic Bilbao boss Ernesto Valverde admits he is surprised about Malaga’s struggles this season ahead of Sunday’s match between the two sides.

Los Leones head to San Mames on the back of nine wins in their last 11 games, in stark contrast to the Andalucians, who have lost four of their previous five and yet to win away from home in 2015-16, amidst what has been described as “an institutional crisis”.

“We’ll need to play with good dynamics,” the Coach said at Press conference.

“It’s best not to look back [referring to his side’s run] because it can neglect what lies ahead.

“What works best is that we prepare for the next game.

“We face Malaga with a lot of respect and without any assumptions [that we’ll win].

“It’s a little surprising that Malaga are struggling so much. They have what it takes to be higher [in the table].

“They’re always compact and make for close games, even against the top sides, but their lack of goals are penalising them.

“They have players who fight and don’t give up. They’re not in an ideal situation, but they get players forward and are solid defensively.

“At the moment, there’s no chance of any player leaving in January, but I’ll wait until Christmas to decide.

“We have big games coming up and we’ll also have to assess whether Iker Muniain can finally rejoin the squad, but we’ll leave these issues for later.”

Tags Ernesto Valverde