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Bielsa defends Llorente decision

2 August 2012 09:02

Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa said he has not fallen out with Fernando Llorente.

The Spain international striker will not start in Thursday's Europa League clash with Slaven Belupo, sparking rumours of a bust-up.

But the veteran coach explained that Llorente's demotion to the bench was simply a question of match fitness.

"He has had two weeks' less work," Bielsa told reporters at his pre-game press conference, alluding to Llorente's involvement in Euro 2012.

"So, this is an issue that concerns only two parties: the footballer and the club."

Bielsa did, though, have a major dispute with his employers over his very public criticism of the state of the club's training facilities upon their return from the summer break.

Consequently, he has decided to stage fewer press conferences this season, explaining that he felt it "seemed prudent".

"That's all I'd like to say on these matters," he said.

"I'd rather not allow them to manifest into something else.

"Starting from tomorrow, we start competing again and it's better that I express myself through the results of the team. That's the most important part of my job."

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