After suffering two straight losses in La Liga play, Athletic Club will be looking to turn things around on Saturday when they visit Malaga at La Rosaleda. The Lions are hungry to get back to their winning ways and put the train back on the right track, but this weekend’s contest won’t be easy. Malaga may still be without a single point so far this season, but Athletic manager Kuko Ziganda believes that they will be as motivated as ever and can be extremely dangerous. In his pre-game press conference on Friday he highlighted the importance of scoring early.
“The game may seem simple because Malaga haven’t earned a point yet, but we cannot trust that. We expect a complicated match. They will be very intense, very involved, and will try to play a game that will give them their first victory. We know that they will be more motivated and focused than ever, but we have to be focused on what we are going to do. We would like to win to get our morale back up, to gain points and more confidence. We have felt pressured lately and want to get back to how we were feeling before. We have to take control of the match and try to get ahead early.”
In closing, the manager relayed his joy in the fact that defender Yeray is once again cancer free. The 22-year-old will be rejoining his teammates soon and Ziganda says that everyone is excited to have him back. Of course, he will need to get back into playing shape so he has called for everyone to be calm and patient with the Lezama product.
“We are all very, very happy that Yeray has recovered. We expected him to make a full recovery, but it was still a matter of actually confirming that. When you compare his news with out recent defeat, the loss is in the background. From now on it is all about getting back into shape so the key is having patience and tranquility. He is going to have a great desire to have the feeling of being tired from training rather than the treatments. We are very happy and overjoyed to have him back.”
Athletic’s match against Malaga will be very important for the season moving forward. If the Lions are able to secure a victory they could climb as high as top four but a loss could see them drop into the bottom half of the table. Kuko Ziganda has called up his strongest available team and fans should expect a very strong starting lineup. That being said, the Lions still have to go out and get this job done. A win is more important than ever and Ziganda has made it clear that this won’t be an easy game.