In just a few days Athletic will host Leganes at the San Mames in their last home match of the season. If the Lions can earn a win, coupled with a Real Sociedad defeat, they will qualifying for the Europa League once again. Following training on Wednesday, Inaki Williams spoke to the press and made it clear that they need to earn the final six available points after the loss to Alaves.
“The lack of success in front of goal penalized us. In the end we didn’t do our job, but there is no time for lamentations. There are two finals ahead of us and we are going to give everything. We want to take all six points so that we don’t have to depend on anyone [for European qualification]. Leganes are not going to give in easy, but they also just mathematically earned their stay in La Liga. From the start we need to try to create many chances and score goals.”
The 22-year-old went on to say that he is trying to improve every day and that playing regularly has helped him. Still, he doesn’t think he has played his best football, but the advice and example of his teammates has helped him quite a bit.
“Playing matches helps you improve day by day. I still have a lot I need to improve and my teammates help me a lot. Sometimes I fail and have a poor game. So far I haven’t achieved anything in football on a personal level. The advice of Raul Garcia, Iker, and Aduriz has been very good for me. I just want to help the team and score goals.”
Recently there have been many rumors linking Italian clubs with a move for Inaki Williams. Juventus, Napoli, and Inter Milan have all seen their names linked with the winger and that has caused a bit of worry in Bilbao. However, when asked about the rumors Inaki once again pledged his future to Athletic Club saying that he wants to play at the San Mames for many years.
“I’ve said it before. I am calm and happy where I am and have no intentions for a change of scenery. I am focused on finishing the season well and qualifying for Europe. Being back in Europe is the most important thing. These external rumors don’t affect or influence me at all. I hope to be here for many more years. Iraizoz? He has given his skin and soul to defend the shield and support Athletic. He is a great captain and person. As a young man, and I still am, he was one of the many people who helped me and advised me. It has been a joy to play with him. It is a shame that he is leaving and I hope he will continue playing football. He deserves everything.”
Sunday’s match at the San Mames will be an interesting one. The Lions have only lost at home twice all season, against Barcelona and Real Madrid, and desperately need the three points. Meanwhile, Leganes really doesn’t have anything to play for. Asier Garitano’s side will be without starting keeper Iago Herrerin who is on loan from Athletic and has a clause that doesn’t allow him to compete against his parent club. With a little help, a win on Sunday could guarantee Athletic the top six finish they have been hoping for.