Dani García “Eibar Are Ahead Of Us By One Point And Our Motivation Is To Pass Them”
Dani García’s return to Ipurua earlier this season didn’t go as planned. Athletic played one of their worst games of the season, but still managed to take a point from the 1-1 draw. Now the Lions are a completely different team under Gaizka Garitano and García is hoping to play better against his former club this weekend. After Tuesday’s training session the midfielder addressed the media and said that it will always be a special game against Eibar.
“It’s special playing against my former teammates and against Eibar. The first game earlier this season was one of my worst performances. I didn’t know how to control my emotions very well and I hope to do that better if I play on Saturday. I must be focused on the game, on having a good match and not thinking about who I’m facing. That didn’t happen the first time. It wasn’t long ago, but I hope I have overcome it. Eibar are having a good year, the best under Mendilibar that I’ve seen. They have his seal, which is unique. We have to be intense and concentrated more than them to have a beautiful match.”
There is no denying the fact that García has been one of the most important players for Athletic this season. That being said, he’s also made two huge mistakes that cost the team points. Still, he is confident and says that the support of his teammates has helped him move forward.
“I know that I made a very big mistake at the Anoeta and against Valladolid. It was good for me to disconnect and playing a good game against Barcelona makes you forget those mistakes. My teammates have encouraged me. I am a person who thinks about things a lot and the support of family, friends, and teammates is great for me. If I did everything right that would be nice.”
Getting a good results against Eibar won’t be easy. José Luis Mendilibar has the team playing at a very high level and they will come into Saturday’s match one point above Athletic. If the Lions can manage to win they would climb into the top half of the table for the first time since September.
“Eibar are ahead of us by one point and our motivation is to pass them. Other than the match at the Anoeta we have been at a very good level. We have to be ambitious, but realistic. If you have two bad games you are right back down at the bottom of the table again. We have carried a backpack with a lot of weight and we have to set real goals for ourselves. Hopefully we can compete for Europe. We are not many points away, but neither are many others.”
As has been the case recently, reporters made it a point to bring up the possibility of Athletic competing for European qualification. Discussing the matter has become taboo for Garitano’s team and García refused to do so during his press conference. The 28-year-old said that the Lions have more peace now, but won’t relax.
“In the month of January we came out of the relegation zone. In February we went up. In March we’ll see, we have three games at home. We had a terrible time to star the year and we’ve surpassed it by far. Against Huesca we got three golden points and we are now seven points above relegation. That gives us some tranquility, but it doesn’t mean we can relax. We have peace of mind to be confident as we face all the games we have left until the end of the season. Now we have to keep playing at this level and go into the last months with options to fight for more.”
After missing Monday night’s game against Huesca due to suspension Dani García is expected to be back in the starting lineup against Eibar. Athletic will need him to be at his best to help the Zurigorri get another positive result and continue climbing the La Liga table. Theres still a lot of season left to play and the Lions are putting themselves in a good position to potentially set new goals.