Valvarde: Athletic Bilbao well on the way

Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde is refusing to read too much into his side's lofty placing in the Primera Division table, save to take it as evidence they are on the right track.

Athletic Bilbao's forward Iker Muniain (C)

Athletic spent much of last season battling in the wrong half of the table but have enjoyed a flying start to the current campaign under new coach Valverde and on Sunday became the first team to beat Barcelona in the league this term.

That 1-0 triumph over the leaders and reigning champions left Athletic in fourth place in the standings, but Valverde is refusing to get carried away with how the table looks at this stage.

"Being well-placed in the standings is not incidental because it shows we are on the right path, but it doesn't mean too much," said Valverde.

The Basque giants beat Barca courtesy of a 70th-minute strike from Iker Muniain and the victory continued their hugely impressive record at their new San Mames home which has seen them record six wins and two draws from eight matches.

Valverde, who replaced Marcelo Bielsa in the summer, said: "This wins gives us a lot of confidence for how we've done it, because of who we were playing and for how we've suffered. We're going to enjoy and let's see if we take advantage of this moment."

Valverde also spoke highly of match-winner Muniain, saying of the 20-year-old: "He's always getting at the opposition. He's a player who gives us a lot through his attitude and today he's got the reward for his persistence."

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