Gaizka Garitano “This Was The Most Difficult Match We Have Had At Lezama”
Bilbao Athletic kept their unbeaten streak at Lezama alive over the weekend when they played Logroñés to a scoreless draw. It was an open game with both sides having the chance to score a winning goal, but in the end a draw seemed a fair result. After the match manager Gaizka Garitano spoke to the media and said that he valued the draw because they were playing one of the best teams in the league.
“The scoreboard could have been in their favor or ours. It was a very even match and in the first half it was more difficult for us. We made some errors that caused trouble but in the second half we were better. We pushed forward and took some risks, but the clearest chance of the match for us was the penalty. We weren’t able to score but we consider the draw good because we played one of the best teams in the league, no doubt. They are one of the top two or three. I value this draw.”
Hodei Oleaga made his season debut with Bilbao Athletic after spending the past few months with the first team and goalkeeper was absolutely vital against Logroñés. He made several big saves to keep a clean sheet and Garitano had plenty of praise for the 21-year-old. He also highlighted the attitude of Peru Nolaskoain and pointed out the fact that Bilbao Athletic are the youngest team in the league.
“Hodei was very good and he gave us a lot of security. Unai [Etxebarria] has also done a great job in previous matches. Today, Hodei was perfect. Peru [Nolaskoain] was also very good. You have to assess the attitude when a player comes down from the first team. He played the full 90 minutes. He worked hard, he was good, and we have to value his attitude. Today we fielded a young team. We are the youngest team and that is something that has to be taken into account. We have young footballers with a lot of potential and we must continue working with them. Sometimes the matches are difficult and today we faced one of the best teams in the league. I’m very happy.”
Despite having picked up just one point over the last two games Garitano said that he was very happy with the team’s performance against Logroñés. If Iñigo Vicente had been able to score his penalty the manager thinks they would have won, but said that it’s a part of the game and a learning opportunity for the 20-year-old.
“For me, the kids did very well in a difficult game. It was the most difficult match we have had at Lezama. I’m convinced that if we would have scored the penalty we would have won, but they also had a couple of good opportunities to score. Iñigo Vicente had his penalty saved and that is part of learning. After missing a penalty you have to keep playing and keep trying. It’s a part of the game. He wasn’t able to score, but another day he will put it in. We have to accept the result as good and congratulate the players for a complicated game.”
Garitano also had a lot of praise for Logroñés after the match. He highlighted the fact that Bilbao Athletic lost both games against them last season and he was happy to see his players put in a strong performance this time around. Now the Katxorros will travel to take on Real Sociedad B next weekend in what will be another very tough match.
“Last year we lost two games to them and today we showed ourselves and we played very well. We would have liked to win, but I’m going to value this result because of who we played against. Now we have a difficult schedule, starting with the game we just played. Next week we have to go to Zubieta which will be one of the most difficult games of the year. We are going to prepare for the match with enthusiasm so that the kids can achieve a good result.”
Bilbao Athletic currently sit three points off of the top of the table and will be looking to pick up a big win against Real Sociedad B on Saturday. With the international break in effect it is likely that Peru Nolaskoain will stay with the reserves in order to continue playing regular minutes. That being said, Garitano will still have to put together a strong game plan if the Katxorros are going to pick up three valuable points at Zubieta.