Caparros cautious after cup stalemate
Athletic Bilbao coach Joaquin Caparros was a happy man after seeing his side hold mighty Barcelona to a goalless draw at the Nou Camp - but remained cautious about their chances of knocking the Catalan giants out of the Copa del Rey in the return leg at San Mames.
Last night's clash pitted the two most successful sides in Copa history against each other - Barca having 25 crowns to Athletic's 23 - and was a repeat of the 2009 final which the Catalan side won 4-1.
Barca also went into the last-16 first leg in stunning form, having won ten successive games with 42 goals scored and just four conceded, but they could find no way past a determined Athletic defence.
A pleased Caparros said: "We came here to have a great game and for that we had to be alert for the 90 minutes. We were up against the best team in the world whose recent statistics were spine-chilling, with many goals.
"Little by little the team became more comfortable defensively. Gorka (goalkeeper Iraizoz) was at a great level and gave confidence to the rest of the team. I'm very happy with the performance of my players. We were good defensively."
Caparros was not getting carried away however, even though his players will have the support of their famously passionate fans at what is sure to be a heated San Mames in the return leg.
"The tie is 50-50," he said. "There's no need to issue a rallying call to the fans. Now the supporters are going to be motivated, we are going to see a very nice atmosphere, because this is our competition. It's going to be difficult though, because Barca are Barca."