Ernesto Valverde admitted his “tired” Athletic Bilbao players were lucky to escape with a 1-0 win at Getafe in La Liga on Saturday.
Inaki Williams’ early goal fired Los Leones into the top six, with Celta Vigo and Eibar having both lost, and the Coach confessed his side were lacking in “calmness and freshness” after a gruelling run of two games a week since the turn of the year.
“We lacked calmness and freshness,” he said after the game.
“When you’re tired, you don’t know what to do with the ball.
“We needed to play with more air. The key was to bring the game to their box, but we found it tough.
“For us, it was important to come here and prove that we weren’t thinking about Wednesday.
“If you make excuses before you start, you lose ground [in the game].
“We’ve been playing a lot recently, and setting the scene [with Williams’ goal] was crucial.
“The pity is that we only scored in the first half.”