Kepa backs 'relaxed' Valverde to bring success to Barcelona

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Ernesto Valverde has the experience and mentality to forge a successful career as Barcelona head coach, according to Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa.

The former Barca forward has returned to Camp Nou to succeed Luis Enrique as coach after four years in charge at San Mames.

Athletic beat Barca 5-1 on aggregate in the 2015 Supercopa de Espana to claim their first trophy since 1984, while they finished in the top seven in each of Valverde's four seasons at the helm.

And Kepa, who firmly established his place in the first-team set-up in 2016-17, believes Valverde boasts the right qualities to thrive in Catalonia.

"He's a coach who is well prepared, as is his coaching staff, who has experience in major dugouts and in different leagues where he has won trophies," Kepa told Sport.

"It will be different because Barca and Athletic are not the same: the way of playing, the players...

"But he's a coach that nobody can speak badly about and that shows how he handles the dressing-room, how he manages the day-to-day.

"He's now got a really good opportunity ahead of him.

"He's a fairly relaxed coach, or he keeps he nerves inside. He analyses matches, teams and, above all, does all the normal things from that calm perspective.

"He has before him possibly the most important challenge of his career. He's well prepared, he's gone at a good time and he has all the tools for a great year and a long spell."