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Athletic Bilbao coach Valverde: We cannot slip up against Elche


Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde sees their clash with Elche as an early season crunch clash.

Valverde has stressed that the players are maintaining the good momentum despite last week's defeat against Espanyol at San Mamés, the first of the season.

"We were really looking forward to getting the win and getting three points that would have put us in the top half of the table. As the game went on, the draw was already a disappointment, we made a mistake and it cost us the defeat. We have to learn from this. We are doing a lot of things well, and we have to improve and work on another ones. However, there are more good things and we have to keep doing them," Valverde said.

"The match at the Martínez Valero will be different to the last one against RCD Espanyol. We're playing against a team that has only managed one point in the first four games. We're coming up against a team who need points and who are playing at home. They have only taken one point from the first four games and they need to get a win".

He continued: "Elche CF are a compact team and they have had a tough starting schedule. They are coming off a very bad result against Villarreal, but I see them as very focused for the game. We have to give the same or a better response than them, as the points at stake are very important."

Asked about the latest injuries in the squad, the Zurigorri coach explained: "We haven't recovered Balenziaga or Yuri and Ander had a minor setback a few days ago. He doesn't have a good feeling and hasn't been able to make it. In the case of Yeray, he has had a high fever for several days and is not fit to train and travel with the team."

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