Athletic Club manager Marcelino García Toral assured fans his side would not settle for a draw in Thursday’s (21:00 CET) Copa del Rey semi-final first-leg match with Levante UD.
The Lions have reached the competition’s semi-finals for a second consecutive year and Marcelino is aware a win at San Mamés would put Athletic in a good position to play in another final this season.
“I wouldn’t take a draw,” Marcelino said at a press conference ahead of the big match. “That’s not our mentality. Not of the players, nor this club.
“I want us to be at our best. We’ll be going for the win.”
The Athletic boss underlined the importance of keeping a clean sheet, as away goals might be crucial.
He said: “We cannot lose concentration, we have to be solid at the back.
“Hopefully we can keep a clean sheet. If we win without conceding, we’ll have an advantage in the second leg.”
Thursday’s opponents Levante are in good form at the moment, having not lost in their previous nine matches in all competitions.
“We’re facing a team on a good run, they haven’t lost since January 6,” Marcelino said about Levante. “They’re brave, direct and have a phenomenal counter-attack.”
Despite the fact Athletic have more experience in these types of matches than Levante, Marcelino stressed his team would be confident without taking their opponents for granted.
“Winning this tie means so much. We need to concentrate more on our own game rather than only worrying about our opponents,” he added.
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