Laporte: We Must Continue Earning Clean Sheets
It has been a wonderful start to the season for Athletic Club. The Lions are undefeated in their first six games and have earned four clean sheets in the process. Kuko Ziganda has placed a huge focus on improving the defense and it is definitely paying off in a big way. Following Friday’s training session, Aymeric Laporte took the time to speak to the media and said that Sunday’s game against Girona will be difficult, but that the team has been working hard to ensure that they do not drop points again to a newly promoted team.
“Girona plays well and fluidly. We go into the game knowing very well what has happened before against this type of opponent. We are working hard so that it doesn’t happen again because we want to win and keep climbing the table all season. I am optimistic that Aduriz will be able to play. Our goals? In recent years we have qualified for European competition four consecutive times. That is not bad and at a first glance that is what we want to do again. If we can, doing even better would be great.”
Laporte went on to say that Ziganda has pushed him to take the next step as a footballer, while also mentioning that the team is optimistic about the future of Kepa Arrizabalaga. In closing, the 23-year-old praised the team’s defensive showings this year and highlighted Unai Nuñez as someone who has brought a lot to the team in his first season.
“I am doing well and feel great physically. Kuko has asked me to improve and surpass myself. We all have good vibes about Kepa, we’ll see what happens. We are calm and focused on what we are doing and preparing for this weekend’s match. If he wants some advice someday I will give it to him, but I have nothing to tell him right now. He’s older and knows what to do. He’s probably under pressure right now, but he seems calm in the locker room. The defense playing well? The more players the better. Everything is adding up. Nuñez has great quality and hopefully he will continue doing very well and improving. It’s good to see the defensive dynamic at a high level this year. We must continue earning clean sheets.”
The match against Girona will be a really special one. Former Athletic players Gorka Iraizoz and Jonas Ramalho will be making their return to the San Mamés and it is sure to be an emotional homecoming. The players have mentioned that it will be really odd playing against Iraizoz but they know that they will have to put goals past him if they are to take all three points. Going into the weekend the Lions currently sit tied for fourth in the La Liga table and are hoping to climb even higher with another victory.