Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelino: Rayo Vallecano sure to push us

Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelino expects a battle today against Rayo Vallecano.

The Lions are coming off the back of a momentous 3-2 Copa win over FC Barcelona on Thursday night. However, Athletic will face stiff opposition in the form of Rayo Vallecano, the team with the best home record in LaLiga so far this season.

“Rayo will push us really heard. They’re having a very good year,” Marcelino said at a pre-match press conference on Saturday.

“At home they have better numbers than Real Madrid. If they had similar results away from home, they would be even higher the table.

“They have a very clear idea about how they want to play the game, and they do it in a way which suits their squad and their stadium.

“Our duty as professionals is to go into in every game with the intention of winning. To do this, every match requires maximum energy, maximum effort and accuracy.”

Despite the exertions of the Supercopa and Thursday’s extra-time win at San Mamés, Marcelino argued Athletic will have no excuses if they lack a physical edge.

“We played a great game on Thursday and left everything out there, but competing is always demanding like that,” Marcelino said.

“We’ll have it give it our all for another 90 minutes. Rayo Vallecano and their stadium will mean we need immediate reactions during game. Rayo is a team that attacks fast and attacks well. Our decision making will have to be quick and accurate.

“They’re a solid and hard-working side. In 10 home games they have won eight and drawn two. That shows they do things very well.”

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