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Athletic Bilbao

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Mallorca v Athletic Bilbao: Preview

Real Mallorca manager Joaquin Caparros has admitted his team have to improve defensively for tomorrow's visit of Athletic Bilbao.

A horrible week for Mallorca saw them lose 4-0 at Levante last weekend before suffering a humiliating 5-0 defeat at home to Sevilla in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

The Islanders have now not won in 13 games in all competitions, leaving them all but out of the cup and just a point above the relegation zone - and Caparros has accepted that things are getting desperate.

He told AS: ``It is very important to take the three points, it is not a final, but it is clear that we need to win.

``The diagnosis is clear, we are conceding a lot of goals and we need to lower these numbers, make ourselves strong defensively and starting from there try to finish some of the chances that we will always create throughout the 90 minutes.''

Caparros will recall a number of first-team regulars, including leading scorer Tomer Hemed, after they were left out in midweek. However, Andreu Fontas has been ruled out with a muscular problem.

Mallorca were not the only Primera Division side who suffered an embarrassing result in the Copa del Rey this week as last season's finalists Athletic Bilbao were knocked out on away goals by Segunda Division B side Eibar.

And defender Jon Aurtenetxe has said he can understand the frustration of the fans in a campaign that promised so much after last season's success but has failed to deliver on every front.

He told El Correo: ``It is normal that the people are disillusioned, a few months ago we were in the final of the cup and now we are eliminated by Eibar.

``It is a very hard blow to fall to a Segunda B team like Eibar that are inferior. We are very sad, but there is no other remedy than lifting our heads and thinking about the game against Mallorca.''

Ander Iturraspe and Andoni Iraola should return after missing last weekend's 1-0 win over Celta Vigo through suspension and injury respectively, but there is still unlikely to be a starting place for Iker Muniain.

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