Gaizka Garitano Praises Bilbao Athletic’s Well-Balanced Performance In 4-1 Win Over Leioa
Bilbao Athletic have been in red hot form to start the season and currently sit at the top of the table with a two point cushion over Racing. The Katxorros were back in action on Saturday when they cruised to a 4-1 win over Leioa and after the game manager Gaizka Garitano admitted that it was a game of two halves.
“We won 4-1 and played a great first half. In the second half we slowed down a bit because of the heat and a few players had muscle problems which made things harder. Our first half was very good. The key to the result was scoring early and from there we started to look for a second and were able to create more chances. We suffered more in the second half and they pushed more players forward. We won on the road against a team that had not lost a game yet and that is a great thing.”
Garitano was not happy with his team’s defensive stability after last weekend’s 3-1 win over Amorebieta, but praised the well-rounded performance against Leioa. He told reporters that he was happy to see his team create so many chances and said that the results have been a product of hard work.
“This was the first time all season that the defensive and offensive performances were both very good. We created chances, were focused, and well positioned. I knew the second half was going to be more complicated and that our opponents had not given up. As a whole the team is doing well. The players work hard. We have several options in attack, different types of players, and we are happy with the results. I’m happy for the players who work hard every day because that is how you achieve results.”
Just like last season Bilbao Athletic are getting scoring from multiple players and Garitano said that the goal is to be a balanced team. He also highlighted the tremendous play of Iñigo Vicente, calling him a special talent and someone who has been playing at an impressive level.
“We already showed last year that we are a team that gets goals from several different players. Right now we are trying to be a balanced team. Iñigo Vicente is a special player and I’m happy with what he has been doing, with his attitude, and how he has helped defensively. We already know what he is capable of doing with the ball. He is committed to improving and I think he’s been playing at a high level.”
In closing, Garitano said that the team must prepare well ahead of their next match against Genika. Just because Bilbao Athletic have started strong doesn’t guarantee a great performance next weekend. The team must find consistency throughout the season in order to continue securing positive results.
“There are teams that start badly then turn things around, others start great then fall apart. It is important to be consistent and maintaining your level from the first match to the 38th match. Last year we lost 3-0 to Gernika and they have a good team so we must prepare well.”
Bilbao Athletic will be back in action on Saturday when they will host Gernika Club at Lezama at 7:00pm. The Katxorros have now gone over a year without losing a game at home and a victory could see Garitano’s side take a five point lead at the top of the league table.