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Athletic Bilbao coach Valverde retains hope of top four finish

Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde retains hope of a top four finish.

Victory over Celta Vigo tonight will keep their Champions League hopes alive.

Valverde said: "We're looking up. Right now we could finish fourth, fifth or sixth.

"The maths is clear. As long as there's a chance, we must aim to finish higher. It's true that it's complicated, but we have to compete and be ready to try to go all the way. We want to finish as high up the league as possible.

"We're facing a team in a relegation battle. There'll be a great atmosphere at their ground and they'll be waiting for us with a knife between their teeth.

"They've changed their style, playing with a more attacking approach and you can see they're more confident. They're optimistic, with salvation just a step away, and they're doing well. Let's see if we can respond to all that."

He continued: "We've given it our all. Sometimes we can get things right or wrong, but we've been competitive and given everything in every game to achieve our objectives.

"Let's be clear we would've taken this season as it is at the beginning of the campaign. In LaLiga and in the Copa, it's been a great year and a great season in every sense.

"We've always had the objective of finally winning it and it was an immense joy for the dressing room, the club and everyone who supports Athletic."

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Ansser Sadiq

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