Dani García “It’s Difficult For Teams To Score In This League And This Is The Way We Have To Play”
Dani García is enjoying his important role at Athletic, especially lately with the team having earned 11 points from 5 league games. In an interview with El Oye Como Va the midfielder admitted that winning two games in a row has been the goal for a while now, while also recognizing just how competitive La Liga has been this season.
“Getting two consecutive wins and building some distance is something we’ve been wanting to do for some time. We knew we had to be intense and aggressive against Sevilla. The team gave their best and we had peace of mind until we got the goals. If your opponent doesn’t make mistakes it’s hard to score goals. It’s difficult for teams to score in this league and this is the way we have to play.”
Athletic’s 2-0 win over Sevilla was a very big deal and could be the type of result to launch the team higher up the table. García praised teammate Iñaki Williams who scored both goals and is confident that the striker will provide even more special moments this season.
“Iñaki’s goals were great, two goals that are rarely seen because few players have that athletic ability. Willi has had chances and has been playing with a good mind. Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t. We are on a cloud because of him, nobody else in the team can do that. He’s a happy guy, even when he wasn’t scoring. He’s a player who makes a difference, not only in La Liga, but also in the world. He has a gift and he has to take advantage of it. He will surely score more goals than he has so far.”
Dani García was close to Gaizka Garitano long before Athletic’s coaching change, having played under the manager while at Eibar. He said that he believes Garitano has been unlucky at previous clubs and that the team have improved a lot defensively under his leadership.
“Garitano has had a lot of bad luck in the past, especially at Eibar. He was trying to build interesting projects at Valladolid and Deportivo and now he’s taking this opportunity to the death and I’m happy for him. Gaizka has tried to improve our defensive mentality and we have conceded very few goals.”
Athletic may be conceding fewer goals but García has struggled to put the Real Valladolid’s equalizer just before Christmas behind him. His teammates have urged him to move on and the midfielder admitted that it’s been easier to go out in public after getting better results. He realizes that Athletic aren’t far from the European zone of the table, but is cautious of setting new goals right now.
“I’ve spent a few annoyed Christmas days, free days, where the play against Valladolid was going through my head constantly. Every day I’d get crushed again. I know I did the wrong thing. My teammates tell me to forget it as quickly as possible, that I have to move on and learn from it. Better results have helped us. We have gone out on the streets a little more and we see that if we continue like this, with half of the season over, that Europe is not far away. We also have to be realistic and know that we can’t set new goals and expectations just because we won two straight games.”
In closing, García celebrated the signing of Ibai Gómez who he believes he will help the team. When asked about other potential transfers he firmly said that it is a matter for the club to decide and that anyone who can help the team will be welcome in the squad.
“Ibai is a good reinforcement, he has a lot of quality. The fans have embraced him because they’re very fond of him. I don’t know Fernando Llorente personally, but these are things for the club and they decide what is best for the team. The better players we have, the better the team.”
Athletic are now preparing for their third straight game against Sevilla as they will travel to the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán on Wednesday for the second leg of the Copa del Rey. The Zurigorri lost the first meeting 3-1 and will need to have a scintillating performance if they are going to advance to the next round. Garitano has already said that the lineup will be rotate which means that Dani García, among other key players, could start on the bench.