Saturday’s match against Deportivo wasn’t supposed to end in defeat. The Lions had the chance to move to within five points of the last European qualification spot in the table with a win and they were playing a team that had lost six straight games on the road. The San Mamés was ready, but two early goals saw Athletic playing from behind. They were able to score two themselves, but the final scoreline read 3-2 to cap off another disappointing night in Bilbao. After the game a few players gave their thoughts on the result and it was clear that they were upset with the performance.
“Now we must be more united than ever. This is a step back but worse things have happened in football, like we have seen in the Champions League this week. It is a hard blow, we all wanted to win, but this little step back hurts all of us. No one likes to lose, and even more so at home. In Villarreal we played well, we all came out our best and, in truth, we were lucky to get ahead early because that helps a lot. Today it was the opposite. With small chances Deportivo has done a lot and it was difficult for us to get back into the game.”
“We had a lot of hope for this game to help us make up points in the table, but we took another step backwards. We had good moments, but we did not finish with any points. There is nothing else that can be said. They scored goals with their first two chances, then they were able to sit back and make it hard for us to create in their area. Yes, we had chances, but were unable to finish them. In the second half we had more rhythm and were more dangerous. This is a team that, even if it is not a good time and it hasn’t been an easy year, it doesn’t give up. We have to finish as strong as possible.”
“I am happy to play again at the San Mamés and for the welcome and affection of the fans, but I’m sad about the result. We took a blow, but we must continue. There are games left and we have to try to finish the season well. On Monday we took a step forward and today was an opportunity to really get into the fight for seventh place, but teams like Deportivo are playing for their lives. They put themselves ahead early and from there it was difficult to turn things around. We cut into the lead and tried until the end, but we were unlucky.”