Aritz Solabarrieta “You Have To Aspire To Do The Best You Can”
Bilbao Athletic are currently enjoying a four-game unbeaten streak after Sunday’s 2-1 comeback win against Arenas at Lezama. It was a hard-fought result for the Katxorros who were in control for the most the game but needed two late goals to secure all three points. After the match, manager Aritz Solabarrieta praised his team for a good performance in the face of adversity.
“We played a good game and we were able to turn around the scoreboard. We created chances, although it’s true that we spent most of the game behind. The game against Mirandés was good and it gave us continuity today. We feel fairly compensated for how we performed away from home. It helped us reaffirm certain things. We know how we have to control games, how to attack and find spaces. I think we did very well today.”
Solabarrieta went on to say that every player in the squad has the ability to contribute to the team. He’s happy to have both Peru Nolaskoain and Gorka Guruzeta available, but he also believes that Asier Villalibre is playing a major role. Oihan Sancet also made his return from a torn ACL with the manager saying that they have to be cautious with the 18-year-old.
“Every player has the level and ability to play. It’s good to have both Peru and Gorka available and I also appreciate the attitude they have shown. Asier is always in position. He’s a very big part of this team whether he’s scoring or not. He’s a great guy and it’s a pleasure to have him as a player. Sancet has been training very well and I really wanted him to play, but you have to be patient. He’s come back from a long injury, one of the worst in football. We have to wait and take care of him.”
Saturday’s win was important. It kept the Katxorros within 9 points of the top four with just 9 games remaining on the schedule. Solabarrieta hasn’t given up on qualifying for the promotional playoffs and says that his team will be ready for another game against Izarra on Sunday.
“In the end, you have to aspire to do the best you can. If we play like this every week the players and the team will keep adding points. I don’t know if we will be able to get into the top four, but we will be closer to those positions. The team will continue training for it. It’s true that Izarra are near the bottom of the table, but we also know that playing on their field is difficult. We have to score early if we hope to win.”
Finishing the season in the top 4 will be far from easy. Not only do Bilbao Athletic have to continue winning, they also have to get some help from their rivals above. The Kumeak have several big games left on the schedule. The match against Barakaldo on 14 April could determine whether or not the team will truly be able to fight for the promotional playoffs in the final stretch of the campaign.