Mallorca vs Athletic Bilbao Preview: Martinez urges caution



I have a say

Posted Monday, February 14, 2011 by PA

Mallorca vs Athletic Bilbao Preview: Martinez urges caution

Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez has urged his side not to get carried away by their current impressive run of form, pointing out there is still a long way to go in their hunt for a European place.

Athletic make the trip to Real Mallorca having won six of their last eight matches in La Liga - including each of their last four - to climb up to fifth in the standings.

That fine run meant Joaquin Caparros' side started this weekend boasting a healthy seven-point gap over seventh-placed Sevilla, and that could grow even further if Athletic can pick up something from Mallorca with the Andalusians losing to Racing Santander on Saturday night.

It is a great situation for Athletic, who last finished in the top five in the 2003/04 season, but Martinez wants his side to keep their feet on the ground.

He said: "It's a privilege to have 38 points after 22 matches and we aren't going to give up at all, but there's still a lot of the season left.

"We have a certain advantage, but if we don't work with the same humility and desire that we've had until now then we won't achieve anything," added the Spain international, who is available again after suspension.

Mallorca know exactly what it takes to claim fifth spot having upset the odds to achieve that feat last season.

It has not been such a success story this time around though, and they find themselves in 11th place after earning just one point from their last four outings.

That has left Michael Laudrup's side nine points off the European places and seven above the relegation zone, and the Balearic Islanders will hope they can start moving forward again with a victory over Athletic at the Iberostar stadium.

With that in mind, striker Emilio Nsue has issued a rallying call to his side's supporters, saying: "The message I want to send to the fans is that they are very important to the team.

"We need their help to get these three points against Athletic, which are fundamental."

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