Berizzo “I’m Proud Of The Victory And How We Persevered Against A Strong Opponent”
Athletic defeated Leganés 2-1 in a dramatic La Liga opener on Monday night thanks to a stoppage time goal from Iker Muniain. The Lions were in control for most of the game but their opponents made it hard to create chances in front of goal. Afterwards, Eduardo Berizzo spoke to the media and was quick to praise his team for their resiliency in the face of adversity.
“I liked the team’s attitude. I’m proud of the victory and how we persevered against a strong opponent. The victory was earned by conviction because the team did not give up. We were able to create chances and Muniain was able to score because of the effort of the team. We were persistent and that was the difference. We have to return to being invincible at home. The San Mamés is an atmosphere where I used to suffer, but now I enjoy it as the manager.”
Berizzo went on to highlight the performances of Unai Simón and Peru Nolaskoain who both made their first team debuts. He was impressed with how comfortable Simón was in goal and said that Nolaskoain proved everything that he had shown during the preseason after making the switch to center-back.
“I want to congratulate Unai Simón on his impeccable debut. He showed signs of safety and gave a performance that leaves us very satisfied. Peru [Nolaskoain] played with great aplomb. He showed sufficient skill in a position that he is still learning. He is able to play the ball, pass between the lines, and scored a great goal. His performance today confirmed everything he showed during the preseason.”
In closing, the manager was asked about the decision to leave Alex Remiro out of the squad list. He admitted that the decision was based on the fact that the 23-year-old has refused to sign a contract renewal and bluntly stated that Remiro needs to find an answer to the situation. Until things are resolved he will not feature for the team.
“It was a technical decision that has to do with the club. As long as the situation is not resolved with serenity and harmony we decided that he will not be in the squad. The situation may change and in this case I thought it best to go with another goalkeeper. Maybe if the situation was different Remiro would have started, but I don’t guarantee a starting role to anyone. He needs to decide what he wants to do. Sit down with the club and talk. I am always thinking of what is best for the club and team, not an individual player. The club comes first, then the team, then the player. He needs to figure out a solution to his situation. The club has learned from the past and doesn’t want a repeat.”
With a dramatic win now behind them, Athletic will turn their attention to newly promoted Huesca who will be coming to the San Mamés next Monday night. The Lions are eager to build on their strong start and will be hoping to continue making the San Mamés a fortress like it has been in recent years. The Eduardo Berizzo is off to an exciting start but the real work is just beginning.