Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelino on Copa defeat: We gave it everything

Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelino has urged his players not to dwell on their Copa del Rey semifinal defeat to Valencia.

Los Rojiblancos knocked out FC Barcelona and Real Madrid to reach the semi-finals, but could not find a way past Valencia CF, losing 2-1 o aggregate across two legs.

“We had a great Copa run, with enormous matches against Barça and Real Madrid,” Marcelino said at his post-match press conference. “But we came up against a Valencia side that did better than us in a very-evenly matched tie.

“We have to congratulate Valencia on reaching the final.”

The manager believed Athletic had chances to win the match and insisted the team “gave it everything”, saying: “We had chances to score and take the lead in the first half, but we conceded against the run of play at the end of the half.

“Even though we didn’t let them have many dangerous chances to score, we went behind. They had the luck on their side, and scored a great goal, whereas we didn’t.”

Athletic will now turn their attention to qualifying for Europe via LaLiga Santander and Marcelino stressed the Lions will need the fans’ help.

He said: “We need the fans to keep supporting us, because this team deserves it. We’re going to keep working hard and we’re already thinking about how to beat Levante on Monday.”

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