Ander Capa “I’m Ready To Compete”
Ander Capa is expected to be back in the starting lineup on Friday night after missing the last three games with a hamstring injury. The 27-year-old has been training normally and told reporters on Tuesday that he’s ready to go. Having the international break to continue recovering was great for the right-back who felt as though he was playing his best football before being injured.
“I am already 100%. I’ve recovered well and I will work hard tomorrow and the days after to be ready. I feel very well. When the injury came it was a shame because I was at my best, both mentally and physically. I wanted to play against Altético, but it would have been premature. We have had a week to recover and I’m ready to compete. I’ve not had to deal with many injuries in my career.”
Earlier this season Capa was barely playing under Eduardo Berizzo, but that all changed when Gaizka Garitano took over. Capa praised the manager for getting the best out of him and also said that he thinks Aritz Aduriz is very close to being back on the field as well.
“Garitano has brought the best out of me. We’ve known each other for a long time and we’ve worked together well. I can only say good things about him. With Berizzo I didn’t have many opportunities to play, but I also consider him a good person. Aduriz is well. If he’s not 100% he’s at least 95%. I see him ready to play. I’m happy Lekue was able to play the other day. We were teammates at Danok Bat and I’m glad he’s recovered. We play the same position, but it’s a healthy rivalry. We’re good teammates and friends.”
Being without Capa for three games was difficult for Athletic. The Lions lost to Valencia, drew against Espanyol, but defeated Atlético Madrid for the first time since 2013. Capa said he couldn’t say anything negative about the team during his absence and now the players are only thinking about the next match.
“In the matches I’ve missed I have no complaints about the team. We’ve done well, always doing what’s asked of us, I think we’ve shown what this team is capable of. What I’ve seen is Athletic closer to our best. There is no ceiling so we can keep moving upwards. We have a very intense week ahead and we’re only looking at Girona. We want to add as many points as possible.”
Girona have won just two games at home all season and Capa warned that they will do everything to change that on Friday. The Lions have to be ready for a battle at Montilivi and recognize the danger in giving Cristhian Stuani room in the box to finish chances.
“Statistics exist to be broken. We are going to Girona for all three points. Girona likes to play on the ball for a long time and they use three center-backs. Stuani is their key man. You have to keep him out of the area because he’s a killer. We have to play the ball out wide and keep it out of the middle.”
Taking all three points could see Athletic move into a tie for 7th place in the La Liga table, although Valencia would hold the tie-breaker. The Basques are serious about qualifying for Europe this season and with just 10 games left on the calendar, every single point is vitally important. The final stretch of the campaign will be challenging and the Zurigorri are happy to take it one game at a time.