Dani García “We Knew That The First Few Minutes Would Be Important For Eibar”

Dani Garcia

Dani García said Athletic wanted to start strong against Eibar (AthleticTV)

Dani García’s first game against Eibar earlier this season was a night to forget. It was arguably his worst performance in the Athletic shirt and he was determined to make up for it in Saturday’s Basque Derby. The midfielder did just that in his second match against his former club as Athletic defeated Eibar 1-0. Afterwards, García admitted that he handled his nerves time better.

“We knew that the first few minutes would be important for Eibar. We wanted to start strong to counter their intensity. We did that well, even though they carried their own weight in the match, and we had more chances than they did. The difficult thing is playing against some of your best friends. Arbilla is my best friend and we are going to eat tomorrow. I think I handled my nerves better this time than the game earlier this season.”

Athletic are now just 4 points off of European qualification, and 6 points away from the last Champions League spot in the table. When asked about it Dani García mirrored the statements of his manager by refusing to discuss the possibility. The Lions will continue to take it one game at a time.

“It’s best to look at the next game because even though we kept a clean sheet, we didn’t win easily. We can play a lot better than we did, but I think the team is on a good level right now. We aren’t closing the door on anything, but we are realistic. We aren’t thinking about Europe. If we lost we wouldn’t even be asked about Europe. Right now we are only thinking about Valencia.”

No matter how the rest of the games turn out on Sunday, Athletic will still finish the weekend just 4 points or less off of European qualification. It’s been an amazing turnaround under Gaizka Garitano, during which the Zurigorri have become one of the best defensive teams in all of La Liga. Next up is a trip to the Mestalla for another important game against Valencia.

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