Athletic Bilbao boss Marcelo Bielsa said getting past the Europa League group stages will be tough, after their 3-1 loss to Sparta Prague.
The Basque side have had a miserable start to the season, sitting in third-last place in Spain’s La Liga while their loss to the Czechs see them bottom of Group I.
“I can’t ignore the bad streak. We are losing to teams that are inferior to us. We cannot ignore this,” Bielsa told reporters.
“It was a key game against a team that took advantage of our draw in the first game, but we could not capitalise. Of course the options of advancing are more complicated now, but, still anything is possible.”
Despite the poor result, Bielsa praised his players for their efforts while taking the blame for their most recent disappointment.
“The players have played with heart and passion, and we looked like a dynamic and offensive team that never quit. In my opinion, my team never looked down and completely out. They did not quit,” continued Bielsa.
“When we finished attacks they found it easy to organise themselves. That’s a tactical aspect that has to do with positional issues and for this, I am at fault.”