Gaizka Garitano Praises New Players After Bilbao Athletic’s First Win Of The Season


Gaizka Garitano is happy with his team’s performance against Tudelano (MD)

Bilbao Athletic may look very different from last year’s team, but there are still high expectations in the second season under manager Gaizka Garitano. The Cachorros began their season at home against Tudelano and did not skip a beat as they cruised to a dominant 2-0 win at Lezama. Afterwards, Garitano spoke to the media and said he was very happy with the first performance of the campaign.

“I’m very happy. The first game always comes with doubts, especially with young players and a new team. We played a serious game and we won because of our persistence, ability to create chances, and overall play. We only had three starters from last year (Sillero, Vicente, and Muñoz) and the lineup today included two players from last year’s Juvenil team which is a good thing. This was a first step and it is even better to win.”

Asier Villalibre and Oihan Sancet, who spent most of the preseason training with the first team, were able to score Bilbao Athletic’s two goals and received immense praise from the manager. Garitano also went on to show his excitement over Peru Nolaskoain and Unai Simón making their first team debuts which, as he says, is the goal of coaching Bilbao Athletic.

“Those who spent the preseason with the first team have been very involved today. I know Asier (Villalibre) and Oihan (Sancet) haven’t been able to train a lot with us. They will be even better with more time but today they played very well and scored our two goals. Vivian and Luengo played well together and they were very good in the air. Oihan was making his debut in the Segunda B and it is demanding. In the last minutes he was dead. Asier needs goals. In a year and a half he hasn’t played consistently and I am very happy for him. He’s a great kid. I’m also very happy for Nolaskoain and Simón for making their first team debuts. It’s always the goal for Bilbao Athletic players to take the next step and Berizzo has confidence in them.”

After a strong opening win the Cachorros will now turn their attention to next weekend’s match against Gimnástica. Gaizka Garitano is hoping to lead Bilbao Athletic to another promotional playoff run and the team is already showing signs that they are poised for another big season under the manager. With their win on Saturday Bilbao Athletic have now secured 13 straight victories at Lezama where they haven’t lost in over a year.

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