Iturraspe: If We Play Our Best We Are Very Competitive
With nine games remaining in the La Liga season, Athletic Club still has a lot to play for. The Lions are currently eight points off of the last European spot in the table and have refused to give up hope. Ander Iturraspe recently gave a press conference and stated that the international break has come at a good time for the players who believe that they are on the right track again going into a tough game against Celta Vigo.
“The break has been beneficial for us. We are on the right track again. We still have nine matches ahead and we know we won’t have problems if we play our best. We are calm. We know how to work hard and that is our only objective. If we want to climb the table we have to start winning. We are going to go with everything against Celta, who is a strong side. They will be a difficult opponent because they have great players who do well together. Aspas is always dangerous and has been in good form. We care about all of our matches, but perhaps this one is a little more important because we want all three points to start adding.”
The midfielder went on to admit that Athletic has not been as strong at home as they normally are. That being said, if they can win the remaining five games at the San Mamés it will put them in great position to challenge for a Europa League spot. Iturraspe knows that the Lions have to play their very best if they are to have a chance.
“We have a thorn in our sides at the San Mamés. The games remaining at home are extremely important if we want to compete for Europe. If we earn all the points we can at home we would be very close. We have to give the fans excitement. We have been saying all season that our performances have been inconsistent, so our motivation is to play our very best and show our highest level. If we play our best we are very competitive, but this season we have rarely done that. We have to get higher up the table and there is a lot of enthusiasm to finish the year strong, which is very important.”
Athletic Club will go into the match against Celta Vigo relatively healthy. Mikel Balenziaga is expected to be back in the squad and Beñat, who had struggled with some muscle problems, should be available as well. With almost the entire squad to choose from, manager Kuko Ziganda must get his selection and lineups perfect if the Basques are serious about challenging for seventh place in the La Liga table.