Bilbao star: Beat United? We can beat anyone!
Published 22:30 13/03/12 By David Anderson
Athletic Bilbao’s Oscar de Marcos is confident they can finish off Manchester United – as he reckons the Basque club can beat ANY team in the world.
De Marcos, who scored Bilbao’s second goal in last week’s 3-2 Europa League win at Old Trafford, has revealed how boss Marcelo Bielsa has given his men the belief that they are the equal of anyone.
“The coach is putting it in our heads that nobody is better than us, that we can compete with any team and we did that against one of the best teams in the world,” said De Marcos, ahead of the second leg of the last-16 tie in northern Spain.
“The key thing [in the first leg] was we had the ball the whole game. It’s our philosophy, as the manager has taught us, to keep the ball and thanks to this we created a lot of chances.”
De Marcos’ only regret is that he gave away the penalty for Wayne Rooney’s second goal, after Bilbao had lead 3-1 in stoppage time.
“It’s clear 3-2 keeps them in it more, and unfortunately it was my
handball," said the midfielder, who has been struggling with flu.
"It was a shame after all the work the team put in, but we have to be happy with the result. Before we came, everyone would have taken a win at the Theatre of Dreams and we know we are in a great position."
Athletic, whose star striker Fernando Llorente is doubtful with a thigh injury, are looking to their fans in the hostile San Mames stadium to lift them.
Supporters have been queuing for THREE days for tickets for the
sell-out clash, and defender Javi Martinez claims the fans will play a key role on the night.
"We did very well in Manchester, but there's a lot of work to do still
because they are a great team," he said. "It won't be easy, but we have the advantage.
"The [Athletic] fans were incredible over there [at Old Trafford]. They helped us enjoy it, made it easier for us, and we will be looking for their support again."