Gaizka Garitano “We Have To Keep Adding Points And Trying To Win Games”
Athletic have yet to lose a league game under Gaizka Garitano and that streak will be put to the test on Sunday when they welcome Real Betis to the San Mamés. During Saturday’s pregame press conference Garitano said that the Lions have to be ready to play a great team and hopes to see the best from both sides in the match.
“Betis is the team with the most possession in the league. They like to have the ball and we must be prepared for that. Every game is a final. You can’t get those points back. Playing at home we always hope to win and do out best to get the three points. I hope for the best Betis and the best Athletic in tomorrow’s game.”
Garitano is well aware of the quality of Betis and how strong they have been this season. That being said, he’s focused on his team and what Athletic need to do to get a positive result at home. The Basques have been much better over the past months, but the manager still says that they are in a battle against relegation.
“I’m more worried about my team than the other team. We have to try to play a good match with our weapons in front of our fans. I try to look at the team and the future is complicated. We are down in the table and the situation is still bad. No matter how much we’ve won we are still in the same situation as two months ago. I am aware that football changes a lot from one week to another. We have to keep adding points and trying to win games.”
Raúl García returned to training on Friday but wasn’t included in the squad for Sunday’s game. Garitano said that the midfielder needs to continue improving and hopes to have him available next weekend against Real Sociedad. At the same time, Beñat will mist the Sunday’s match due to suspension and the manager hinted at the fact that Mikel San José will start in his place.
“We’ll see how Raúl García trains after the injury he’s had. Let’s hope he continues to improve and can be available for the game against Real. Beñat isn’t available due to suspension so we will have to make a change. San José has different characteristics, better or worse, than Beñat. He fits into our system. Córdoba always adds something to the team. His self-confidence and quality is important for us. For me, Susaeta is a very important player. I have not started him in the last few matches, other than the Cup, but I am delighted with him. I have full confidence in all of my players. We always try to take advantage of the player we have available.”
Taking all three points against Real Betis will be a big challenge, although doing so would see Athletic climb into the top half of the La Liga table. It’s clear that the team has been much better under Garitano and they will look to make it seven straight league games unbeaten on Sunday. The fans will be ready and the San Mamés will be roaring.