Athletic Club head coach Gaizka Garitano said the first-team are fully conscious of what is expected.
On Sunday, the Lions face their second away derby in recent weeks, travelling to Mendizorroza to take on Deportivo Alavés at 14:00 CET.
“Athletic’s objectives are always high,” the boss told the media in his pre-match press conference. “We know what each defeat means and we are aware of where the team has to be. We owe it to the club’s history and the fans.”
The lions recently announced the signing of winger Álex Berenguer from Torino FC and Garitano believes Berenguer’s ability to play in several forward positions will help the team.
“Álex is a very versatile footballer,” Garitano added. “He can play anywhere upfront. On both wings, behind the striker and even as a striker. He’ll contribute goals and assists. He makes the squad more complete.”
On Athletic’s trouble in the final third, Garitano added: “We play a lot in the opposition half, but we’re struggling to finish our chances.
“The build-up play is worthless if you do not create clear chances. Berenguer will help with that, whether it be looking for goals from the flank or opening up tight defences.”
The Athletic Club manager insisted the lions are in for a physical test in Mendizorroza, while singling out Alavés’ potent strikeforce as the home side’s biggest threat.
“They’ve got power upfront. They’re a tough team with tall players and a good counter-attack,” he noted. “Their strikers are quick and finish well.
“We don’t give away many chances per game and will have to keep it that way tomorrow.
For Garitano, the game plan is clear: “Avoid the little they create from affecting the scoreboard and turn our dominance into goals.”