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Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona: Ronald Koeman denies future rests on Copa del Rey final

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KoemanKoeman's Barcelona lost 2-1 to Real Madrid on Saturday, ending a 19-game unbeaten run

Ronald Koeman hit out at suggestions his future as Barcelona manager rests on Saturday's Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao.

Koeman, 58, who joined on a two-year deal last summer, has had a mixed first season in charge.

A resurgence has Barca involved in a three-way title race with both Madrid clubs but there have also been notable losses, like in last week's El Clasico.

Local reports have said Koeman will be sacked if he fails to win silverware.

"It's a little bit strange that I need to answer these type of questions because we had a run of 19 games without losing," the Dutchman said.

"We're losing one game and I already need to talk about my future?

"Maybe I need to accept this. I have one more year of contract. I know it's a big pressure and I can handle that but sometimes it's a little bit strange."

Koeman's Barca are third in La Liga, two points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, but they have lost a number of key games this campaign.

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They include both league meetings with Real Madrid, their only league meeting with Atletico, the Super Cup against Saturday's opponents Athletic and their Champions League last-16 tie with Paris St-Germain.

"I've got another year on my contract and I know what'll happen if we win or if we lose," Koeman said.

"I've spoken with the president and he's shown confidence in me.

"I don't think that every time something is written about a coach the president should have to give him a vote of confidence."

Athletic are looking to avoid losing a second Copa del Rey final in two weeks after they lost to Real Sociedad in the delayed 2020 final on 3 April.

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