We must avoid bookings against Real Madrid, believes Bielsa

Marcelo Bielsa - Athletic Bilbao

Goal.com / Shinichiro Ema

Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa has warned his men to not fall victim to official’s rulings during this weekends encounter at the capital against Real Madrid.

In recent visits to the Santiago Bernabeu, the Basque side have suffered from poor discipline, which ultimately caused them having to travel home empty-handed.

“We must try not to avoid giving away refereeing decisions that can define the game, such as red cards, penalties or playing a game with many players booked,” the Argentine explained to reporters at the pre-match press conference.

“Refereeing errors are not a determining factor overall. At the end of the year they usually balance out in terms of justice or, if not, bad luck.”

Bielsa went on to explain how Los Leones intend to match the reigning Liga champions on the tactical front.

“We respect them, but we want to make our presence felt,” the 57-year-old announced. “We always try to play [our own game].

“They negate counterattacking opportunities, but provide many balls to the attack. So that solves one problem and creates another.

“The solution is the hardest thing. We must try to play but not lose.”

Athletic travel to Madrid on Saturday night, with kick-off against los Blancos at 22.00 CET.

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