Eduardo Berizzo Highlights The Need For Defensive Improvements After Friendly Loss In Holland

Eduardo Berizzo

Berizzo recognizes the need for defensive improvements (AC)

Athletic Club lost their first friendly of the summer on Wednesday when they faced off with Eredivisie side ADO Den Haag. The match was part of the team’s training trip to Holland and was played behind closed door on the De Lutte pitch. Although the Lions were able to control most of the game, heavy rain affected the playing field and the Basques fell 3-2. Afterwards, manager Eduardo Berizzo stated that, due to the conditions, it wasn’t a game worthy of analysis.

“The feeling is that this wasn’t a serious game and that is why you can’t draw conclusions. It’s annoying to lose, but even more so when the match is cut short. Today served us to run and work on some things, but it lacked the rigor of a serious match. Between the rain and the other issues with the referees it just isn’t a game to analyze. The rain really affected a lot. I liked the first half, we were able to play the football I want.”

Berizzo went on to highlight the fact that the rain made it difficult to pass the ball and gifted ADO Den Haag two goals. At the same time, he stated that the team has made too many defensive mistakes and is looking forward to addressing those issues as quickly as possible. The manager could also see fatigue in his players who have been training intensely for over two weeks now.

“We made some passing errors and the rain gave our opponents two goals. We attacked well and generated a lot of chances. The defensive errors must be fixed and we must improve because even if you are success on offense everything can be undone in 30 seconds if the defense isn’t strong. We have been intensely training and the fatigue is noticeable. In today’s game we have some passing inaccuracies that were due to fatigue. When we have more time to rest the team will be better. Everyone must be committed with the minutes they have. Playing in the Primera, especially in this team, isn’t easy. Everyone has to be on the same page to show that they deserve to play.”

Inaki Williams

Heavy rain made the match difficult to play (AC)

One of the stories of the match was the fact that Berizzo decided to play Oscar De Marcos in midfield. The manager continues to praise to the 29-year-old for his versatility and also believes that Raúl García could play in several different positions this season. Rulo has missed out on the last two friendlies due to an ongoing muscle injury.

“De Marcos can play in almost any position. I like him because he is dynamic. He has great tactical intelligence and we have to take advantage of that. Raúl García can play as the 8, as the 10, on the wing, or in a double pivot. I imagine using him beside a pivot, but he can play in many positions. He can adapt to different roles which is very important.”

Athletic Club will continue training in Holland and will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to Germany for the Traditions Cup, hosted by MSV Duisburg. The Lions will play their first match against Fulham, while the other semifinal will feature Fiorentina against Duisburg. Athletic will then return home where they will continue preparing for the start of the La Liga season.

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