Balenziaga: Athletic on track

Mikel Balenziaga believes Athletic Bilbao are on course for another good campaign if their pre-season form is anything to go by.

The Basques beat Borussia Dortmund in Germany last Tuesday and left-back Balenziaga admits confidence among the players at the moment is sky-high.

“Victories like the one against Dortmund always give you a boost and it has given us the confidence to believe that we are on the right track,” commented the 28-year-old.

“We played really well, especially in the first half, and you could see that we are able to stand up to these kind of opponents.

“Now we have to carry on what we’ve been doing in recent years to continue playing in Europe. We are a team that is confident in what we are doing.”

Despite having started 33 La Liga games last term, Balenziaga refuses to accept he is an ‘indisputable’ starter in boss Ernesto Valverde’s team.

“I do not recognise that word in football,” he insisted. “One day you might be good and the next a lot worse.

“What we are all trying to do is to be as consistent as possible in order to be available to the Coach.

“We have three left-backs, four if you include Lekue who can also play there, so the competition is clearly there. All of us are doing everything possible to play the most games we can,” he maintained.

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