Julen Lopetegui


The manager stressed the need to match a team who "have been preparing all week to face us"
Cuerpo Superior

Fresh from a win in the Champions League this week, Julen Lopetegui spoke to the press today before the team set off for Bilbao to face Athletic tomorrow: "It is what it is. We don't even have 72 hours but we have to adapt without looking at the context. We will meet a side who have been preparing all week to face usa good side who will oblige us to focus on them and not the context. The team has to be aligned with that idea and I'm sure we'll have it". 

Cuerpo Inferior

Asked about the litany of chances on Wednesday evening, the manager is only looking forward: "We already made our assessment of the last match. We're 100% thinking about Athletic and I'm not looking backbut we won't have as many chancesnot by a long stretch. It will be different and we have to adapt to a difficult match. This is all going very quickly and we have to be at 100% in everything, and on a mental level as well, because Athletic will demand so much of us tomorrow. They're a good side. LaLiga has only just begun and they have a good team, they're well-led, and have clear ideas and players with a lot of talent in every area. How they compete, how they're getting on in all positions is of concern to us and we want to give a good answer to that". 

He then focused on the role of Raúl García: "He's a player that all managers want to havebased on what he represents and how he competes. From there they have many more things, but he helps them focus on many situations in the game and we have to be prepared". The manager also stated that Wednesday's win won't help tomorrow: "They're two different competitions. Playing in the Champions League and LaLiga is testing on both a mental and a physical level and we can't look backThe only thing that will help us tomorrow is how we focus on the match and what we do after the referee blows his whistle. We're excited because of the match, the stage and the opponents, they are fantastic condiments that lead you to play really well to take all three points home". 

"We can't look back. Plaing in the Champions League and LaLiga is testing on both a mental and a physical level"

Although there is a match every three days, there's still time for analysis: "We know our opponents. We've already faced them and, with little variants, we know them. Of course there's time to analyse thembut the distance between each match is something else. We can't focus on that, we try to maximise the team's resources. Nothing else". Of course, the last result at San Mamés, a 2-1 win in July, does not have any bearing on tomorrow's match: "That's more for all of you. You look more at what did or didn't happenbut it's already goneThe present obliges us to be focused and we're not looking at anything else. Tomorrow we'll go out there at 0-0, with different circumstances and contexts. We're focused on what we have to put in tomorrow's piggy bank". 

Idrissi is ruled out for the match, but Rakitic may well feature: "Another teammate played the other day, but Rakitic is perfectly well and we won't say the line-up until tomorrowHe is ready to be able to play and we'll decide tomorrow. He seems very integrated and happy". He also spoke about Acuña: "He's working very well, he's got a run in the team and his response has been good. He's competitiveunderstands the game and he's helping us as he will help us throughout the season". Finally, he spoke about Ocampos and his position: "Good players perform in every position. Even as a goalkeeper he didn't do badly. They are all recognisable positions for him and he's played very well on the left wing a lotThese are nuances and I would not dwell too much on that analysis".