Now that the international break has come to an end Athletic Club is ready to get back in action. The Lions will be hosting Celta Vigo this Saturday at the San Mamés and it is already being pegged as a must win game. On Thursday Kuko Ziganda addressed the media and made it clear that Athletic’s hopes of finishing in the top seven begin with this weekend’s fixture and that his player’s have had time to prepare thanks to the international break.
“The possibility of a seventh place finish depends on winning Saturday. If we don’t win, we will practically have to win every remaining game and wait to see what happens. We are aware that it is very complicated and we are in a disadvantaged situation. We still have the possibility and we must fight. That happens by winning the first match this Saturday and then take it one game at a time and see where we are with three or four games left. We haven’t given up on anything.
When these two clubs met back in November Celta walked away with a 3-1 win despite a strong second half from Athletic. Ziganda noted that if the Lions play their style of football they can control the game, but also recognized that their opponents are difficult to beat.
“I remember how the last game against Celta went and that we had chances to win in the second half. We know that Celta haven’t had the best results lately, but they play a strong game. They have players who do well with the ball at their feet and can control the pace of the game. It will not be easy to play against them, but if we play our style we will be able to control the game ourselves. The break came at a good time for us to prepare for the games ahead. We have been working with our movement and strategy.”
Athletic Club are still competing for the final European qualification spot in the La Liga but currently trail by eight points. With nine games remaining this season there will be plenty of points available to make up the gap, but the Lions will have to make the most of every game remaining, starting with this Saturday. Every match is vitally important from here on out and the fans are demanding a fight to climb the table.