With less than a week to go until the start of the Spanish football season, Athletic Bilbao are stepping up the intensity of their training schedule.
Pre-season so far has been a fairly inconsistent time for the Basque team highlighted by a 2-1 defeat against newly promoted Premier League side Cardiff City last Saturday.
With a 12th placed finish in last season’s La Liga, Bilbao will be looking for a strong start to this campaign to challenge at the top end of the table having become accustomed to finishing in the European places before the disappointing season last time out.
Despite the inconsitent form of Bilbao in pre-season, striker Ibai Gomez is not concerned by this.
“Even though we lost our last pre-season game I think that the sensations we have in the team are good. I think it has been a pre-season of good work. And now we are just wanting the competition to start. That is what everybody wants. I think the team is ready.”
“The way we train is completely different. The way we play I can tell some things are similar and some different. As I said the other day I don’t like to compare. We are going to focus on what we have from now on and we are going to forget the past. We are going to think in the present and the future.”
The Basque club begin the new season under the guidance of Ernesto Valverde against Vallodalid.
Bilbao, which fields players only from the Basque Country or neighbouring regions in northern Spain, will play in a new stadium next season after 100 years in the old San Mames.Published 13 Aug 2013, 14:49 IST