Berizzo “We Still Need Everyone To Improve And Be Better”
Athletic were not able to play as well as they hoped at the Traditions Cup in Germany on Saturday. The Lions fell 3-1 to Fulham in their first match and drew 1-1 with Duisburg in the third place contest. Despite putting in strong showing, defensive errors punished the Basques and afterwards manager Eduardo Berizzo said that the whole team needs to be on the same page or it makes things much harder for the back line.
“The lack of everyone pressing together forces a lot from the defenders. When everyone isn’t synchronized it’s time to run backwards and the center-backs are the ones who pay for it in those moments. It’s a back and forth that is harmful to our defensive system. I can guarantee that when you aren’t rested your actions aren’t precise. And if you are not precise in every touch or in aerial duels and you don’t feel strong, then you are very close to making errors. When the fatigue doesn’t let you play as you want it lowers your intensity and you suffer imbalances. Now we need to settle the energy.”
Now that Athletic’s training trip to Holland has come to an end the manager will be looking to make the final decisions regarding his team for this season. There are still 32 players in the squad, but Berizzo isn’t in rush to make any conclusions. At the end of the day the ultimate goal is that everyone continues to improve so that the Lions can have a strong season.
“I have to reflect on the squad. I don’t think that many cuts are needed, but I do have some in mind. It is very difficult to find more reinforcements and we have to exploit our options. We have to make detailed decisions, but we have time. The exits have to be thought through very well. Everyone in the team is going to be necessary and they will all be looked at case by case. The conclusion is that we still need everyone to improve and be better. We must all be better.”
Athletic will now turn their attention to the Basque Cup final against Real Sociedad which will be played on 4 August. While still technically a preseason game, this rivalry match will be anything but friendly. The La Liga season will officially begin on 20 August against Leganés at the San Mamés, leaving Athletic will less than a month to finish preparing for the new campaign.