Bilbao seeking away joy at Malaga

Athletic Bilbao are aiming to improve both their mediocre away form this season and their miserable recent record at La Rosaleda when they make the trip to struggling Malaga.

Athletic Bilbao

Athletic may be fifth in the Primera Division standings but they have struggled on their travels with all but six of their 23-point haul so far coming from home matches.

However, midfielder Ander Herrera believes Monday's match against 14th-placed Malaga offers Athletic the ideal chance to claim only a fifth away win of 2013 - even taking into account their poor record at the Andalusian club.

The Basque giants have not won at La Rosaleda since 2001 and picked up just three points from a possible 27 from this fixture since then.

Herrera said in AS: "We've not been consistent away. We've only won in Valladolid and Getafe and our play can be greatly improved.

"We (now) have a very good opportunity to make up for that and consolidate our place in the European spots, which is where we want to be."

On why they are struggling away from home, he added: "Sometimes there's no clear explanation in football. If we want to be up at the top, there cannot be a difference between playing at home or away.

"You need to go out to win on every ground. We have to always think positively and it mustn't be any different in Malaga "

Malaga finished fourth in 2012 and sixth last season but have found themselves battling at the other end of the standings so far this campaign after losing the likes of coach Manuel Pellegrini and established players Isco, Martin Demichelis and Joaquin in the summer.

They had earned just 13 points from their opening 13 matches under Bernd Schuster and had lost four of their last six prior to the international break.

However, striker Roque Santa Cruz believes the break from domestic football has given the team a chance to correct a few things.

He said: "We've analysed the errors of the last few defeats so they don't happen in the future. We had good moments in those matches but also some mistakes which we can't allow. We're fine-tuning the details so the mistakes don't happen again."

The Paraguay international added of Monday's opponents: "Athletic are a very physical side with some quality players. (Iker) Muniain stands out from the others as he has a different style of play, I think he's a great player.

"We'll need to work hard for the entire 90 minutes and remain calm. We're determined to win for our fans."

comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular News

News & Update