Gaizka Garitano “I Don’t Believe In Long-Term Goals In Football”
Once again Athletic will be playing on a Monday night. In just two days they will travel to Estadio El Alcoraz to face off with Huesca in what is going to be a vitally important game for both teams. On Saturday Gaizka Garitano gave his pregame press conference and hinted at the fact that Iñaki Williams can be used in different ways depending on the opponent.
“After three strong days of work, today was a day of recovery. We hope to count on everyone tomorrow. According to the last medical report Aduriz is normal. He’s training apart from the team and isn’t able to play again yet. Iñaki can play on the wing as well as up top at the beginning of matches. We have always thought of a plan B depending on who we are playing.”
The manager recognizes that this game is just as important for Huesca who have been in good form recently. A win would significantly help Athletic climb further out of the bottom of the table and the Lions must be ready for a battle.
“Of course winning would be a boost to help us forget about the lower area of the table. We are facing a key match it’s the same for them as well. It’s an important match for both and we will try to focus on this game and be prepared. We know that from now on every game is vital, we need to win every game.”
Turning his attention to Huesca, Garitano noted that they have been much better over their last three games and are playing a different style of football than earlier in the year. They’ve improved defensively and are now using counterattacking to create chances. He stated that Athletic must find ways to counter their strengths.
“Huesca are playing a different style of football. Before they were dangerous but they lacked success and struggled to get points. What they are doing now is good. They should have more points, many have escaped them because they didn’t take advantage of the opportunities they had. They have new players and they can play more direct with Gallego. They are also getting stronger at the back and with that security they are winning with counterattacks. They have found the way to play and we have to counter it and find a way to win.”
Garitano was then asked about the possibility of Athletic challenging for European qualification. The manager refused to discuss the issues and stated that he doesn’t believe in long-term goals. He wants to take it one game at a time and prepare for Monday’s match.
“I don’t believe in long-term goals in football, I don’t give that any value. I’m worried about preparing to win each match. We aspire to be as high as possible in the table, but what concerns us is the immediate. That is what my future and Athletic’s future depends on. Thinking about the schedule doesn’t make sense, it’s no excuse. We play on Monday night and we have to be ready.”
The team will be without Aritz Aduriz and Iñigo Lekue, who are both injured, as well as Dani García and Oscar De Marcos, who are both suspended. “I don’t think the De Marcos booking was a hand ball”, the manager said in reference to the card being upheld by the Appeals Committee. “We don’t care about the ruling, but we’ll have to accept the situation.” Mikel San José and Ander Capa are expected to start in their places.