Iker Muniain “We Have Had Bad Times This Season And This Win Is For The Fans”
Iker Muniain was the hero for Athletic Club once again on Sunday. The 26-year-old scored a lovely goal in the 20th minute to give the Lions the lead and it would turn out to be winner when the final whistle was blown. After the game the Captain told beIN Sports that the team worked all week on ways to pressure the ball and praised the Athletic fans who turned the San Mamés into a fortress.
“We worked on pressuring the ball and when we did it we were able to create danger. It was a fantastic match, especially the first half. We pressed them on the ball and that led to us having clear chances. We could have scored one more to finish the game more calmly, but in the end we had to suffer. The San Mamés was impressive tonight. This is the line we have to follow, both the team and the fans. We have had bad times this season and this victory is for them. Their support was great.”
Muniain went on to speak about the importance of Sunday’s win which now has the team just 3 points off of Europe. He said that the team has fought all season and now they will have the opportunity to fight for better things than just avoiding relegation.
“This win serves us well. We deserved to score more goals in the first half. We worked hard during the week and it showed because Betis is a team that plays great football. They demand a lot from you and were were very organized. We never quit and now we won’t give up anything. We can get nice things because we’ve gotten a lot of points this month and that allows us to be closer to Europe.”
The 26-year-old has been playing fantastic football under Gaizka Garitano, especially in the midfield. He was happy to score the winning goal at the San Mamés and said that he also likes being able to help the team defensively. Muniain believes that he is doing well right now and wants to continue playing at a high level.
“I’m happy for my goal. A few minutes earlier I had another chance and this time, instead of just kicking it, I decided to pass it to myself from behind and finish with my left foot. It went well and I’m happy. I like making runs into the box and shooting with power. I’m also trying to help defensively in the center or field by being organized and pressing. I’m finding myself doing well with the ball and physically. I hope this lasts.”
Athletic will now turn their attention to Saturday’s Basque Derby against Real Sociedad. The two clubs are separated by just one point the table and could both be fighting for Europe at the end of the season. “The Derby is always a nice match to play”, Muniain told reporters, “especially now because we are close in the standing and because of the streak we are on.” A win next weekend could launch the Zurigorri into 7th place in the standings.