Gaizka Garitano “Today We Were Better And We Won”
Athletic continued their unbeaten streak under Gaizka Garitano on Sunday, defeating Real Betis 1-0 at the San Mamés. The Lions were clearly the better team in the first half and went into the break up 1-0 with a goal from Iker Muniain, but it was much more tense in the final 45 minutes. Garitano told reporters after the match that he was very happy with the performance and praised the support of the Athletic fans.
“I am very happy. When there is communion between the team and the fans it’s incredible. The team gives the effort and the fans push us forward. I have to thank our fans for the boost they gave us tonight. There was a remarkable link between the players and fans tonight. The fans helped a lot. I think we defended well today and they didn’t have many opportunities. We scored more goals than Real Betis. Today we were better and we won.”
As usual, Garitano was quick to praise his players and highlighted the performance of Muniain who has been giving great performances in the midfield. The win was important for the Basques, but the manager made it clear that they have to continue working to improve every day.
“The explanation is simple, we have very good players and that is why we are winning games. We have a great team and that’s why we won. Iker Muniain is giving his best performances. He’s helping us a lot in the position where he is playing. We are adding points although we are still in the lower half of the table. It’s clear that we are happy because the results have been good, but we have to continue adding points. Our matches have been a bit intense. We weren’t able to score in the second half because we didn’t have the ability to score. We have to keep working, all of us.”
Athletic are now just three points off of the last European zone of the table and will spend this week preparing for Saturday’s Basque Derby against Real Sociedad. “I’m already thinking about the next game”, Garitano said. “Our goal is short term, focusing on the next game and winning it. The match on Saturday in Donosti will be beautiful. In addition to the three points, Derbies are special and we are only separated by one point in the table.” The Lions will be without Oscar De Marcos and Yuri Berchiche who will be suspended for the match.