Eduardo Berizzo “I Aspire For A Lot More”
Athletic have now gone eight straight games without a win after suffering a 1-1 draw with Rayo at Vallecas on Wednesday. The Lions conceded a first half goal, but played much better after the break and were able to pull level to earn a point. After the game manager Eduardo Berizzo highlighted the importance of bringing on Raúl García at halftime and praised his side for their ability to adapt.
“The change at halftime was clearly needed because we were allowing them to have too much possession. We adjusted as we should have. The whole team understood that we needed to own the ball and be more aggressive than we were in the first half. Tension and pressure are a part of my profession. We played a bad game in the first half and in the second it was very good. This team is capable of anything if we play like we did in the second half.”
When asked about the fact that Athletic have only earned nine points from nine games this season, Berizzo said that he demands a lot more from his team. He isn’t happy with how things are going and has a clear vision of what he wants to see from Athletic.
“I aspire for a lot more. Of course I’m not happy with the situation in the table, the number is bad for us. We need a victory to help alleviate our place in the standings. We can’t just play any type of football, we must have audacity, intensity, effort, and aggressiveness. At halftime I told the team what I thought. The team needs nerve and aggression to play the system well. It takes rhythm and intensity. They understood and in the second half we saw the Athletic we want to always see.”
Before leaving the podium, Berizzo said that winning isn’t just enough for Athletic. He wants the team to play good football. Toto believes that Iker Muniain, Unai López, and Mikel San José all played big roles in the second half and made it clear that he isn’t worried about his future. The only thing on his mind is making the team better every day.
“We have to win by playing good football. The second half today should be our standard. We had space to attack but didn’t get the vertical passes until the second half. Muniain and Unai López did better and San José’s presence was also valuable for us because of his energy and strength in the midfield. There was no fatigue. The only thing I’m worried about is making my team better. When we win games our confidence will be high.”
Athletic will be back in action on Saturday when the will host Valencia at the San Mamés. The Lions are unbeaten at home against Valencia in their last six meetings, winning three of those fixtures. Berizzo’s team will be looking to get back to their winning ways and know that the match will be extremely difficult. With the fans starting to run out of patience, nothing short of picking up all three points will be acceptable.