Eduardo Berizzo “We Were The Superior Team”
Eduardo Berizzo was full of praise for his team despite the 3-2 loss to Atlético Madrid. The manager believes that Athletic deserved much more from the game and recognized the fact that they must be better when defending set pieces. After the match he said that the Lions were the superior side at the Wanda Metropolitano and must look at the positives from their performance.
“We had an outstanding performance. In the first half we defended well and scored a goal. In the second we went for more. They tied the game and we went back ahead, but then we defended badly. We leave with nothing after everyone’s hard work. You have to learn from every game. This time we were not good defensively on set pieces. These moments teach us and we can also draw positive conclusions because this was our best performance in a long time. We were the superior team.”
Despite the results this season, Berizzo made it clear that the commitment from his players cannot be questioned. The team is disappointing with the loss, but have been positive and know that they will get good results if they can continue playing at this level moving forward.
“I feel very close to the players and, if something should stand out, it’s the commitment from everyone. Whatever bad things happen do not happen because lack of commitment. The team is disappointed, but we will find the strength to go out and play the way we showed today. We must look the same from one game to another to have a sustained level of performance.”
Set pieces proved to be the difference maker on Saturday and Berizzo knows that the team must improve in this area. He was frustrated that Athletic were not rewarded for their efforts and will now look to build optimism for the matches ahead.
“It’s frustrating that the result doesn’t reflect how we played. It was already unfair to be level at 2-2 in my opinion. Tomorrow I will try to build optimism and start over for the next game. When you are defending a set piece it is never easy, but I still want to see us defend those moments better to achieve a victory. I didn’t think the foul that lead to the winning goal was justified.
Unai Nuñez started in place of the injured Yeray and Berizzo was quick to praise the defender who was fantastic. The manager also revealed that Beñat and Iñaki Williams had to be taken off due to fatigue. Yuri Berchiche was sent off after the game for complaining, but Berizzo said that he wasn’t aware that it happened.
“Nuñez played the game at a high level as did Beñat. He had a lot of the ball and had to come off because of fatigue. I was pleased with how the midfield performed. Iñaki was taken off because he was exhausted. Iker was very good. I didn’t know that Yuri was sent off after the game. I had already left the field.”
Athletic will now begin their international break and Berizzo says that it will be a time to prepare mentally. The team is confident that they can turn their season around and know that they have to build on Saturday’s performance.
“Over the break we will need to strengthen our minds and maintain a high morale knowing that we all want to turn the situation around. The most important thing is adding points and we are going to straighten the course if we continue to play like we did today.”
Athletic Club will be back in action on 25 November when they will host Getafe at the San Mamés. With the Lions currently in a battle against relegation they desperately need points and fans will accept nothing less than a great showing at home. They will now have two weeks to prepare and will be hoping to come out of the break ready to get back on the right track.