Valverde eyeing Athletic ‘compensation’

Ernesto Valverde says Athletic Bilbao are looking for “compensation” when they welcome Rayo Vallecano to San Mames on Sunday.

A defeat and a draw have set Athletic back in La Liga’s race for European qualification as they sit nine points behind Champions League-chasing Villarreal, but Los Leones can make up ground on Europa League rivals Celta Vigo and Sevilla with victory over Rayo, a team Valverde is refusing to take for granted.

“We have two games at home where, recently, there have been unexpected results,” the Coach said at a Press conference.

“As it were, we didn’t kill them off. We want to compensate ourselves as when you lose, you look for to recover at the first opportunity.

“Rayo are where they are because they’ve stayed true to their style.

“We’re two teams who don’t deceive anyone [referring to their playing styles].

“We both press high and try to stop our opponents from playing in our boxes.

“Our recent meetings have been very demanding, but we won them with late goals and I hope [Sunday] will be something like that.

“A win is very important as it would strengthen our European aspirations and put us closer to toppling Celta [Vigo] and Sevilla. We’re not afraid of Malaga.

“[On Iker Muniain], the most important thing when you make a mistake is to get up and move forward in the next game.

“It’s true that he made a mistake, but it’s nothing new. We’ve had a chat and he’s aware of [what he needs to do].

“He wants revenge for his mistake and will show us that it was just an accident.”

Tags Ernesto Valverde