Gaizka Garitano Praises Bilbao Athletic’s Competitiveness And Hopes To See Eduardo Berizzo Continue At The Club
Bilbao Athletic were up against a difficult challenge on Sunday as they went into Lasesarre looking to pick up three vital points against a surging Barakaldo side. The Katxorros were able to score first but quickly surrendered an equalizer as the game finished in a 1-1 draw. Afterwards, manager Gaizka Garitano said that he was proud of the way his players fought and admitted that it has been tough to keep leads this season.
“I am very happy with the game, which has been one of our best performances away from home, but not so much with the result. It was an even match. In the first half we were better and in the second they had control for a while, but we finished quite well and thought a 2-1 win was much closer than a 2-1 loss. We took a point in a very difficult stadium against a good team, but with the feelings that we dropped points after being in the lead. We have a hard time keeping results when we go ahead and it happened again this time.”
Despite feeling as though Bilbao Athletic deserved all three points, Garitano admitted that just getting a single point at Lasesarre is always a good result. Their hosts didn’t have many chances to score, but were still as dangerous as ever.
“Although Barakaldo did not have many clear chances all it takes is a corner or a mistake and they can hurt you. They don’t need a lot of the ball because they are a very competitive team. Even though we feel like we were the better team, we took a draw in the end and that is a good result even though it feels like less than we deserved.”
Garitano went on to highlight the fact that the inexperience in the team is making it difficult to hold on to leads late in the game. He’s pleased with how the players have responded to challenges lately and is hoping to get even better results moving forward.
“We are lacking more of that temper to hold on to the lead when we are ahead and it seems like we are playing better, but Barakaldo were also playing at home. They are one of the best teams in the league and it is difficult to win at Lasesarre. In the end it is a fair result. We missed a few chances in the first half and then we were finally able to score a goal. You have to do many things well to win games when your opponent doesn’t make mistakes.”
In the end, the most important thing is the improvement of the young players at Bilbao Athletic. Garitano stated that he is excited about the future of Athletic when watching his young squad and right now his biggest goal is to teach the players how to compete no matter the difficulties or score.
“The important thing is to compete, especially with young players who played this game. We have a very young team. This is one of the youngest Bilbao Athletic squads that I remember and we played a great match on a difficult field. I am proud of that. Would we like to earn more points and go higher in the table? Of course, but I also see the improvement of the players. Every day these young players are improving and we have a very promising future.”
Before the press conference ended, Garitano was asked about the state of Athletic’s first team. He had nothing but praise for Eduardo Berizzo and said that he hopes the Argentine stays at Athletic for years to come.
“I think Athletic has one of the best coaches in the Spanish league, without a doubt. I thought that before, but now that I see him working every day I am convinced that he is one of the best. I hope that Berizzo will continue here for many years.”
At the moment it doesn’t look at though Athletic are considering moving on from manager Eduardo Berizzo. However, if Ibaigane do choose to go in that direction sources claim that Garitano may be the favorite to take over the first team. Whatever happens, Garitano has been doing a fantastic job with Bilbao Athletic and the Katxorros are hoping to fight their way back into the promotional playoff zone of the table despite losing multiple key players to injury this season.