Valverde: “We have to win, there's nothing else to think about”

Valverde: “We have to win, there's nothing else to think about”

Ernesto Valverde is confident Athletic will keep their European hopes alive with an all-important win in the last home match of the season

Athletic Club head coach Ernesto Valverde reiterated that only a win will be enough as the Lions get set to face Elche CF at San Mames in our final home match of the LaLiga 2022/23 campaign.

Los Leones are currently eighth, equal on points with CA Osasuna in seventh, but behind due to head-to-head results. To remain in the hunt for Europe, Athletic must win and hope other results go their way.

"The way things have turned out, there's nothing else to think about apart from getting a victory," Valverde said at his pre-match press conference.

"We have to win and then see if it's in our own hands. It's the last game of the season at San Mamés and we want to play a good game in front of our fans. We have to play with emotion so the supporters get behind us."

To stay in the fight for Europe, Athletic must beat 20th-placed Elche CF, whose relegation was confirmed a few weeks ago. However, that does not mean Los Ilicitanos will be easy opponents. In fact, Sebastian Beccacece's side have improved since survival was ruled out.

Valverde said: "I hope nobody among us takes to the pitch believing victory is a foregone conclusion. That's the first step towards losing. We've got a lot on the line and Elche are going to make it difficult for us. 

"Elche are in their best form of the season, free of any kind of pressure and getting good results. I hope we play well and we can deliver a win for our fans."