Eduardo Berizzo “We Value The Great Performance Of The First Half”
Athletic have been playing scintillating football under new manager Eduardo Berizzo so this season and looked to be headed for a dominant win over Real Betis on Sunday. The Lions were up 2-0 before Markel Susaeta was sent off at the end of the first half which turned the game upside down. Afterwards, Berizzo addressed the media and said that he wants to look at the positives from the game and praised his team’s performance in the first half.
“I always look at things from the positive point of view. I think against Huesca we lost points and tonight, against a rival like Betis with a man down, we rescued a point. I think we did well and the result shouldn’t belittle us. The players want to play and when it was 11 against 11 we had control of the game. We value the performance of the first half, which was great. We want to continue playing like that and manage all facets of the game. Balenziaga? I’ve already said it. We need everyone in the team. He hasn’t been a starter, but he started today and played well.”
Berizzo admitted that Susaeta was upset about being shown two yellow cards, but that he was happy that his players didn’t quit when they faced the adversity of the second half. The result wasn’t what Athletic wanted, but they are still unbeaten to start the season and want to build on their momentum.
“Susaeta had two late challenges which is uncommon for him. He was upset about the two cards and I can’t blame him. The only thing that would’ve warranted my reproach is if the players gave up, but they weren’t going to do that. Every match has its own specific issues and our point total explains it all. The game against Real Madrid was very good, just like the first half today. Every match is difficult and we have 6 points out of 12.”
Athletic now sit in the middle of the table but could be much higher. They still have a game in hand against Rayo Vallecano which could see them climb as high as fourth if they were to win that fixture. For now they will set their sights on Villarreal who will be coming to the San Mamés on Wednesday in what will be another challenging game for the Basque giants.