Gaika Garitano “I Don’t Consider Anything Decided, But I’m Only Thinking About Sunday’s Game”
Athletic lost their first match under manager Gaizka Garitano on Thursday night as they fell 3-1 to Sevilla in their Copa del Rey first leg fixture. After the game Garitano said that he thought the team played well, but their opponents capitalized on mistakes that decided the game. He also refused to discuss Aritz Aduriz’s goal that was overturned after VAR review.
“The first goal forced us to take the initiative against Sevilla and when you carry the possession you can’t make mistakes. In truth we didn’t make many mistakes, but when we did they were dangerous and cost us goals. I thought we did well and were in control of the game in the first half. It was a pity that Aduriz’s goal did not stand. I have an opinion on it, but the coaches have nothing to do with the decision. I am quite in favor of VAR, but I’m more focused on analyzing the game. I don’t want to talk about VAR. One day it can hurt you and the next day help you.”
Despite being down 3-1 Garitano doesn’t think that the draw is over yet. However, he isn’t thinking about that right now and is only focused on preparing for Sunday’s league game which will also take place against Sevilla. The manager believes that things will be different this weekend and is looking forward to a good performance.
“I don’t consider anything decided, but right now it’s time to think about the league match and for the players to recover. I’m only thinking about Sunday’s game. Mentally we cannot allow ourselves to fall. The match on Sunday has to be different. We have three games in six days against Sevilla and all three will be different. There had to be rotations and I’m happy with the work against a good opponent. When we were alive we played very well. Despite the casualties I’m sure we will regroup and play a good match on Sunday.”
Aduriz had to leave the match injured in the first half, but only has a bruised knee according to the coach. Beñat and Peru Nolaskoain also didn’t feature due to sickness. Garitano showed his excited about the club signing Ibai Gómez who he believes can really help the team this season.
“Aduriz has a bruise, but nothing serious. We will see how it evolves. Beñat and Peru did not play today because they were sick. Ibai Gómez can play on Sunday if he is ready. He’s a player who has grown a lot and he can help us. He can score goals, provide assists, and play on both wings. I am not going to talk about players who are on other teams. Transfers are not a subject that depend on me. I’m open to anything that will improve the team.”
The La Liga campaign is the still the top priority and Garitano wants the team to be focused on that. “I’m not worried about the result”, he said after the game. “We won the last league game and tonight’s result won’t hurt that.” Athletic currently sit in a tie for 16th in the league table and could climb as high as 11th if they are able to secure three points against Sevilla on Sunday at the San Mamés.