Ander Capa “Gaizka Garitano Has Given Me More Confidence”
When Athletic and Eibar met earlier this year at Ipurua Ander Capa didn’t have the opportunity to get on the field against his former club. That will certainly change on Saturday with Oscar De Marcos suspended. Capa is expected to be in the starting lineup and on Thursday he shared his excitement with the media following training.
“I have spoken with Dani García about what it’s like playing against Eibar. We’ve had a few conversations about it. We wish the best for them, but on Saturday we want all three points. The fans give us a big advantage at the San Mamés. They are very involved with us and they encourage us at every moment. It’s the boost that encourages you to push forward.”
Saturday’s Basque Derby will be decisive. Eibar currently hold a one point lead over Athletic and both teams are playing a high level of football at the moment. Capa knows it won’t be an easy game for the Lions and is happy to have spent so many years with Eibar before returning home to the San Mamés.
“Both teams are coming into the game in good form. It will be a tense and beautiful Derby. I hope to have the opportunity to play against Eibar. It would be a nice match for me. I have good memories of Eibar where I grew as a footballer and as a person year after year. I had the opportunity to come back to Athletic, which was my dream. I am lucky to have experienced everything I did.”
Capa didn’t have many chances under former manager Eduardo Berizzo, but Gaizka Garitano quickly put him into the starting lineup when he took over in December. The 27-year-old is happy to have the coach’s confidence and reiterated that the team isn’t looking past this game. The players refuse to discuss the possibility of challenging for European qualification.
“When I came back to Athletic I had few minutes and less confidence. When Gaizka arrived, who already knew me from Eibar, he gave me more opportunities and confidence. When Gaizka came the first thing he said was that we had to be a solid defensive team and play from the back. We have done that. Now what we have to do is give more importance to having the ball. We aren’t going to focus on the spots above us, or look behind or ahead. We are going to go match by match.”
Ander Capa will be the starting right-back against Eibar, but with De Marcos unavailable the real question is who will play on the right wing. Ibai Gómez, Markel Susaeta, Gorka Guruzeta, and even Raúl García are options but it will be up to Garitano to make the ultimate decision. Athletic have played great football no matter who has been on the field and a win on Saturday would see the Zurigorri climb into the top half of the La Liga table for the first time since September.