Athletic Club are currently enjoying the international break but are still hard at work training for their next match. In the first six games of the season Kuko Ziganda has utilized 23 total players, showing his faith in the depth of the squad. Last weekend’s win over Eibar saw several changes to the lineup including Enric Saborit who is hoping to feature more under the new manager. Following Thursday’s training session the 25-year-old spoke to the media and said that keeping a clean sheet in the Derby was vital and that Ziganda is demanding the best out of every player in the team.
“I’m content with the work. The goal was to keep another clean sheet and for the defense that was important. Kuko has conveyed to us that everyone can perform well. He used rotations and the team responded the way that he wanted. Anyone can play as was seen against Eibar. The performance of the team was good. We are ready for the next stage and we know there will be many matches with the League and in Europe. The upcoming week is very important. We are getting the concepts that Kuko wants and we are going to be better. Kuko is very demanding and tries to squeeze the maximum out of the players. He has told me and everyone else that we are all here for something important.”
The Lezama product is currently in the final year of his contract and was asked about a possible renewal. He said that he has talked to Ziganda and feels that he has the manager’s confidence. He definitely wants to play more this season, but knows that he will have to work hard with Mikel Balenziaga currently in front of him in the pecking order.
“I’ve talked to him and I feel that I have Kuko’s confidence. There’s also Balenziaga so I must be at my best so he can count on me. The coach is the one who decides but I think I am playing well. I want to play in more matches and I think that I can give more and keep improving. Last season I didn’t have many minutes, but that is my hope for this season. Three years ago I was 22 and I’ve matured in the Primera. Now I am physically stronger and more aggressive. I always work hard in training and will give my all in games when Kuko calls on me. I can play on the left or centrally. I feel comfortable in both places and have no problem doing either. I like it.”
Enric Saborit and Athletic Club will be back in action on 10 September when the Lions will host newly promoted Girona in La Liga action. The Basques currently sit tied for fourth in the table with four point and will be looking to pick up another three to continue their strong start to the new season. The upcoming match will also see the return of former Athletic players Gorka Iraizoz and Jonas Ramalho who currently play for Girona.