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Javi Martinez has stressed the importance of continuing a winning start to the season for Athletic Bilbao with Atletico Madrid in sight.

Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez has called on his team to produce dogged performances at San Mames this season, starting with their first home game against Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

The World Cup winner stressed the importance of making a good start to the league campaign, but admitted that los Colchoneros will prove a more difficult opponent this season.

"In San Mames we must be dogged, making it uncomfortable. We must stand up and go for them from the first minute. This is the base of our game, especially in an environment like we are going to see on Saturday," Marca quote him as saying before highlighting Atleti's defence as a fresh test for his side.

"To do well in the league it's important to start well. Last year we started with three wins and we had this progression throughout the year. Hopefully this year will be similar but with a better finish, and for that we have to keep adding points. Now we must continue.

"With the reinforcements in their defence, where they were worse, they are now very balanced. The game will be very difficult, but it will also serve to measure how we good we are."

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