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Bielsa: Llorente should get used to boos

Athletic Bilbao manager Marcelo Bielsa has suggested that Fernando Llorente will have to get used to being unpopular with his club's fans, after the striker was again whistled from the stands during Thursday's underwhelming 0-0 Europa League draw with Sparta Prague.

Llorente, 27, said earlier this week that the hostile reception he received during Athletic's opening European game this season in August had helped him make up his mind about leaving the club - whether in January or next summer, when the player will be out of contract.

The Spanish international, who was captaining a mostly second-string side with Athletic already eliminated from the competition, was whistled when his name was read out beforehand and then jeered during the game.

Athletic president Josu Urrutia, blamed by Llorente and some others in Bilbao for mismanaging the situation and turning fans against their former hero, was also a target for negative chants during the match, which was probably the club's last European tie at its historic San Mames ground.

Bielsa, who has said he wants Llorente to see out the rest of the season with Athletic, showed little sympathy for his player when speaking with reporters afterwards.

"This is nothing new," he said. "The situation has already been there. I assume he will have to put up with it (the whistles). It has happened before, it happened today, and there is no guarantee it will not happen in the future."

The Argentine tactician accepted his team had not played well in a poor game, but picked out young centre-half Aymeric Laporte for praise.

"The game was bland, dull and uninteresting," Bielsa said. "Laporte was the only one who stood out with his defensive commitment."


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