Athletic Club manager Marcelino García Toral insisted his players are confident of defeating any other side, including FC Barcelona at Camp Nou.
The Lions face FC Barcelona in Catalonia on Sunday night at 21:00 CET. The Camp Nou is a ground where Athletic have struggled to get results in recent years.
“The players have shown me they don’t feel inferior to anyone,” Marcelino said at his pre-match press conference in Lezama. “With hard work and determination they can beat any team.
“We’d love to win in Barcelona, and that’s what we’re aiming to do.”
Athletic Club have already faced Barça twice in January. Barcelona won when the sides clashed in LaLiga Santander at San Mamés at the beginning of the month, but Athletic beat the Catalans in the Supercopa final.
“We’ve played two demanding matches against them recently,” Marcelino added. “In the first one, at San Mamés, they were superior and we know the reason why.
“In the Supercopa final, we were better and we won deservedly.”
He continued: “We improved a lot without the ball, we were more precise when closing them down and nulifying their attacks.
“They didn’t create many chances against us and tomorrow we’ll try to maintain that effectiveness in defence.”
Apart from the LaLiga Santander loss against Barça, Athletic are yet to lose since Marcelino and his coaching staff took over.
What’s more, the Rojiblancos have scored at least two goals in all of his games in charge, including a 5-1 win over Getafe.
“We’ve got good numbers in front of goal. Athletic are currently doing better in this aspect than what I expected when we arrived,” Marcelino said about the Lions’ attacking statistics.
“For example, I don’t know how many times we’ll see a repeat of our second-half performance against Getafe.
“But we’re working every day to be better. The day we think we can’t improve is the day thing we’ll start to get worse.”
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Marcelino: “A victory for us would’ve been fair”
Marcelino bemoaned the defensive mistakes that led to Levante’s goal
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The XI’s for tonight’s LaLiga match at the Ciutat de Valéncia
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When and where to watch Athletic’s upcoming LaLiga match against Levante UD
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Marcelino looks ahead to Friday night’s LaLiga Santander match against Levante UD
Squad list: Levante UD vs Athletic Club (LaLiga Matchday 25)
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