posted by Paul Wilkes (Editor) on 2012-03-09 05:00:00

Following Athletic Bilbao's impressive win at Old Trafford, manager Marcelo Bielsa faced the press conference and LaLigaUK was present.

Q. Were you pleased with the work rate off the ball this evening ?

A. I was pleased with our work rate off the ball as you mentioned there, I think it was a good enough standard to break down opportunities and stop our opponents building up any kind of rhythm to their play and building any attacks and we managed to do that quite well.

Q. We've just had Sir Alex Ferguson talking in here, very positively about the high tempo of the game and how Bilbao pressed very veryhard high up the field throughout 90 minutes, he also mentioned that your squad trained in two separate sessions over a period of three hours yesterday, he thought that was very impressive, you've called him the greatest manager of all-time in the past, have you anything to say about that ?

A. Well what I would like to say is that it is excellent and admirable when your work is recognised by someone of such importance in the game.

Q. Would you say that looking back on the game the victory although a very very great result could have been a wider margin ?

A. Well I think it's an indication of how good our opponentstonight were, by the fact they don'tneed to create that many chances to actually come away with two goals, they didn't get through on goal so many times, but here they are they got two goals in the tie. It doesn't really matter, obviously I think in general play we were probably better than Manchester United, but it shows just how good they are that we could only manage to create a difference in scoreline of only one goal and that is a compliment to our opponents and an expression of their quality.

Q. Although we know there is another game to decide this tie, What's the bigger picture ? What is the importance of this great night coming here to such a famous ground and getting such a fantastic result ?

A. Well I think we can't forget that there is one game to go and that's the most important thing that we need to remember. I think all the positives that we have taken from tonight and all the success of the great result we have achievedtonight will be wasted if we don't take care of next Thursday. We have got to make sure that we finish the job. What I'd like to really highlight though is the fantastic commitmentof every player out there and how much they put into the game with a superb effort and also you've got to really underline the fantastic support of the fans who were magnificent tonight.

Q. Sir Alex Ferguson said that you trained for three hours yesterday, is that normal ? And what kind of system do you play ?

A. To tell you the truth, the training sessions were an hour each, not two hours in the morning. To be fair if you were to compare a normal session that clubs would do, they probably do the same amount of work in one session than we do in two. Their kindof steadyishgentle sessions that we did, not that much physical work no big deal really. In terms of style of play, our simple ethos is this 'try towin the ball back as quickly as possible from our opponents as far up the field as we can' and by that I mean everyone is involved in winning the ball back from the forwards to anyone else and then once we have got it try and find a way of getting forward as quickly as possible, in a kind of vertical direction if you like. Don't get frustrated if we can't get forward immediately be comfortable on the ball and if it's not a case of going forward straight away then keep it, just be comfortable and retain possession. Broadly speaking with not wanting to talk to much about the team that'show I'd simplify it.

Q. Sir Alex Ferguson refered to the fact that the tie is not dead and United still have a chance in San Mamés, how do you see things progressing there are you going to go out as positively and aggressively as you did here ?

A. Well I can tell you we always go out to attack our opponents and try to beat them and go for a victory. Sometimes it comes off and sometimes it doesn't, but we won't alter the style of play that we have and be positive and get forward.

LaLigaUK would like to thank Elizabeth, the rest of the Communications team and everyone at Manchester United Football Club.


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