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Marcelino: “We are very happy and proud of the work of this team and players”

The Athletic Club manager praises his team after a strong performance against Real Madrid

Athletic Club v Real Madrid - Copa del Rey Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Athletic Club manager Marcelino offered praise to his team after a 1-0 victory over Real Madrid at home in the Copa del Rey quarter-final on Thursday.

“We are very happy and proud of the work of this team and players. It is very difficult to eliminate Barça and Madrid consecutively. We still have a long way to go to reach the final and having eliminated the two greats does not mean that we have to be in the final.”

“Now we have to enjoy another special night because it is a joy to experience this. I thank the footballers and the fans, who also enjoy watching the team. I thank each of the players for making me enjoy this.”

Marcelino also talked about living in the moment and expressed the joy of going further in the cup tournament this season.

“I don’t like to see what happens or set goals in January. The goal now is to enjoy this moment, which is thanks to the work of the players, and to think that our next game is with Espanyol in the league, and we want to be at the top. Thinking about other things or differentiating competitions is not the right line. And we have to play everything to the fullest. Last year there was only one game in mind and that can’t be.”

The Athletic Club manager mentioned the strategy he employed for his team to force Real Madrid, the highest scoring team in LaLiga, to go goalless for this homestand. He described the plan to shut down Los Blancos’ offense.

“If you disconnect Real Madrid in their offensive game you start to win the game. We did an immense job because it is difficult to dominate Real Madrid as we did today. I keep that effort and that dominance. We are competitive and heavy for the rival. And, in addition, every time we are more comfortable with the ball”