Gaizka Garitano “We Can’t Be Depressed”
Athletic had three points secure on Saturday as they led Real Valladolid 1-0 going into stoppage time. However, late drama ensued as the visitors equalized in the 92nd minute to deal a draw and leave the Basques with only one point. After the game manager Gaizka Garitano told reporters he thought the team played well in the wide areas, but just weren’t able to create enough chances in front of goal.
“We did a good job on the wings but trying to find the forwards was difficult and we had to give a lot of effort. Overall the team lacked chances and didn’t make good decisions in the final third. We also didn’t suffer other than that isolated play at the end. In that play we had to be strong and it was a shame that we couldn’t keep the lead. When you give up a late lead like this everything looks black, but we will have to get back to work tomorrow. I’m not black and white. We had the victory in hand, but that’s football. I’m angry because we had the three points in hand. We needed to score a second goal to be more calm.”
Garitano then highlighted the team’s decision making in the final third as the biggest issue. The team has several promising attacks but failed to find the final pass to test the goalkeeper.
“We had some promising attacks but didn’t choose our passes well. There was a lack of chances although we had attacks of three on two and four on three. We didn’t have that last pass to kill the game and that is something that is clearly missing. We had the match practically won. We didn’t kill the game and we have suffered a bit. The important thing is that the team is trying.”
Despite their struggles, Garitano believes that Athletic deserved to win the game. The Lions controlled the match and will now have only one point to show for it. Still, the team must be positive and focus on improving every day.
“We have not been able to generate chances but I think we have done enough to win the game. Unfortunately it ended in a draw in the final moments. We had the match under control and it escaped us in the very last moment. The team has done a great job and it is a shame not have seen any reward. We can’t be depressed. We would have liked to win, but tomorrow the sun will come out. We can’t hang our heads because of this result. With more points we will play better. I want to thank the fans for all the love and all the support they showed us during the match.”
In closing the manager praised Aritz Aduriz’s penalty and expressed his disappointment that Iñaki Williams hasn’t been able to turn his effort into more goals. Now all eyes will be on the club’s Presidential elections and Garitano says that he is available for whatever decisions are made.
“Aduriz’s goal was great.He takes then very well, with mastery. Williams stretched the team a lot and penetrated the defense. He worked hard and it’s a pity that it isn’t leading to goals. I don’t know what will happen. I am available for whatever the new President decides and what is best for the club.”
The Athletic players will now have the chance to train and enjoy the Holidays as they will not be back in action until 7 January when they travel to take on Celta Vigo at Balaídos. Saturday’s draw has lifted the Zurigorri out of the relegation zone and now they must continue to add more points to climb higher up the La Liga table.