Banide demands "better quality" from players ahead of Blackburn game

Laurent Banide is demanding better quality from his team as they gear up for tomorrow night's (7.45pm) crunch Carabao Cup first round tie at Championship big guns Blackburn Rovers.

Having presided over back-to-back defeats in his opening two Sky Bet League Two matches, at least the pressure won't quite be as intense at Ewood Park as Athletic will bid to cause an unlikely knockout shock.

Frenchman Banide clearly knows many of Athletic fans are already demanding better, and tomorrow night presents the squad with a big opportunity to cause an upset and lift spirits immeasurably within the camp.

Banide said: "We have been working hard in training, but it's the game when it really matters.

"We must be careful, and we must concentrate fully on the game at Blackburn now.

"We need to work hard on a lot of tactics, and everyone needs to find a better quality in their play.

"The quality we have shown so far means we are in a difficult situation. It's been too easy for other teams to play against us.

"The quality in possession has to be better because teams are having a lot of attacks against us.

"We don't really have time to wait. We must improve."

Banide, whose opening two league defeats were split by an encouraging Leasing.com Trophy win against Liverpool under-21s, added: "Every time we go onto the field we try to get a result.

"We must see the team play better, show a better spirit and a better collective.

"We've not seen enough of that. Some of the good work we're putting in on the training pitch is not being seen in games.

"We all expect to see more quality."

Banide has confirmed that team changes will be minimal for tomorrow's Rovers clash, though one player who definitely won't feature is experienced central defender David Wheater.

He is suffering from a troublesome muscle injury and could be out for another one or two weeks yet.

A limited amount of tickets are still available for Athletic fans wanting to travel to Ewood Park tomorrow.

They cost £10 (adults), £5 (over-65s and 18-25s) and £2 (juniors 12-17 and under-12s).


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