With only three games left this season fans just want the summer to hurry up and get here. Kuko Ziganda’s first year in charge of Athletic Club has not gone according to plan and has been a big disappointment to say the least. When the campaign does come to a close the manager will be relieved of his duties, but there is at least one player who will be sad to see him go. On Wednesday, Iñigo Córdoba addressed the media and said that he wouldn’t be where he is today if it had not been for Kuko Ziganda training him and showing trust in the Lezama product.
“I am very grateful to Kuko. Without him I wouldn’t be here. He is a great coach, he loves football and lives it. This season he has given his best. I know it hasn’t been a good year but Ziganda isn’t the only one at fault, it is the entire team that has caused bad season. We are not satisfied with the year either, the players aren’t happy with the results either. The coach hasn’t let the negativity get to him. He has worked just the same and analyzes matches equally. I am very happy to have made my debut and it happened because of him. He seems very strong and wanting to finish the season in a good way. I am very appreciative of him.”
Córdoba went on to say that he is very happy in the first team and that it is an honor to wear the Athletic shirt. The players want to end the season on a positive note and that means they have to work hard in the final three games of the campaign. In closing, the 21-year-old said that he believes he and Unai Nuñez can be examples to all the young players coming through Lezama right now and that he hopes to one day play in the first team with his little brother Asier Córdoba who currently plays for the Juvenil team.
“Personally I am very happy. This is all new to me and it is an honor to wear the Athletic shirt. Everyone here thinks the same. We want to end the season well and we’re going to show that we are Athletic. We know that the season hasn’t gone well and that exposes us to the public. We are footballers so we have to duck our heads and focus on working hard. When I did not play earlier this season I had to work every day and then I was given the opportunity to come back into the team. Working hard is important. It is a very comfortable locker room and the team really welcomed us [Córdoba and Unai Nuñez]. We can serve as an example for everyone at Lezama to see that, with hard work and effort, you can reach the first team. I hope that one day I can share the first team with my brother, Asier.”
Athletic Club will be back in action on Saturday when they will play host to Real Betis at the San Mamés. The Beticos are currently enjoying an eight game unbeaten streak and have proven to be one of the strongest teams in La Liga. The Lions will be without Oscar De Marcos and Raúl García, who are both suspended, and Mikel Balenziaga who injured his hamstring in training. Kuko Ziganda will have some big decisions to make regarding the lineup and fans will be hoping to finally see a big win at home.