Gaizka Garitano Leads An Energized Training Session With The Focus On Valencia
After enjoying some time off the Athletic players were back in training at Lezama on Tuesday in a session that was open to the public. The Lions are currently preparing for Sunday’s match against Valencia at the Mestalla where a win could see the Basques climb as high as 7th in the La Liga table. With all of the focus on this weekend’s fixture Gaizka Garitano put the team through an intense hour and a half of work.
The team began training with rondos, passing, and running with the ball under the orders of physical trainer Juan Iribarren. Then, the squad played some games of 11 v 11 before eventually moving to an area where Garitano had set up 8 smaller goals. Here the team played a few scrimmages with the focus on pressure and moving the ball quickly. Despite training being intense, there was also plenty signs of joy and good spirits from the players who were regularly joking around with each other.
At the end of training Garitano stayed behind on the field with six players. Starting defenders Ander Capa, Yeray, Iñigo Martinez, and Yuri Berchiche as well as starting midfielders Dani García and Beñat all worked together on moving the ball out of the back quickly and efficiently. This will be a key to Sunday’s match with Valencia being a team that likes to pressure in the final third. Garitano wants the team to be ready to work the ball up the field and not give away possession in dangerous areas.
As expected, Aritz Aduriz and Iñigo Lekue were the only two players to miss training. The pair are still recovering from injuries and worked on a separate field with Xabi Clemente. According to the club, Aduriz could return to training as early as mid-March if his recovery continues to go well. For now he will continue to follow the recovery plan that has been put in place.