This has been one of the best seasons in history for Bilbao Athletic who currently find themselves in an intense battle to qualify for the promotional playoffs. With only two games remaining the Katxorros will qualify if they win out, which definitely looks like something they can do at this point. Over the weekend they demolished Lealtad by a score of 8-0 to seal their 11th straight victory at home, leading many to believe that they may actually be the best team in the league now. After the game, manager Gaizka Garitano addressed the hype regarding his team and made it clear that they haven’t accomplished anything yet.
“We have 67 points and that is a lot. We should already be in the playoffs, but we aren’t right now. We need to keep winning because we haven’t accomplished anything yet. They better you think you are, or the more you listen to others say how good you are, the weaker you become. Winning, especially a lot of winning, can make you worse because you get comfortable. We have tried to keep playing with a rhythm, but without getting comfortable. The goal of this team is to educate players and prepare them for the first team. The players have to learn how to lose, but they also have to learn how to win.”
In the last two games of the season Bilbao Athletic will travel to take on Osasuna, who have already suffered relegation, and will host Tudelano who are stuck in the middle of the table. The Katxorros won both meetings earlier in the season as part of an eight-game unbeaten stretch that saw them win five times. They defeated Osasuna 2-0 thanks to goals from Oscar Gíl and Gaizka Larrazabal and beat Tudelano on the road 1-0 with Unai Bilbao scoring the winner. They will be hoping for the same outcomes this time around.
If Bilbao Athletic do qualify for the promotional playoffs the real work will begin. If the Katxorros win out they would likely finish in third place and could have to face the likes of Elche or Real Murcia in the first round, which would be a difficult obstacle to overcome. Still, this team has shown balance in all three phases of the game and Garitano has them firing on all cylinders. The chance to earn promotion to the Segunda is a real possibility for Bilbao Athletic and that is reason enough to be excited.