Athletic Players Still Focusing On One Game At A Time After Win Over Girona
Athletic find themselves tied for 7th place in the La Liga table after Friday night’s 2-1 win over Girona. With the three points in hand the Lions are serious contenders in the battle for European qualification, though the players are only focused on taking it one game at a time. After the match, Raúl García admitted that the team needed a victory on the road and must now try to do the same at home against Levante.
“I still think that you have to go day by day, game by game. Winning is difficult. We’ve taken a step forward in the matter of salvation and now we must try to win again on Wednesday. We needed to get a result away from home. At home we have dominated more with the support of our fans and it was important to take one more step and get a victory. We are in between. This week is important because if we win on Wednesday we can talk about other things.”
Beñat revealed that Garitano instructed the players to put in more crosses after the halftime break which led to more chances. He believes that the victory was another big step forward that allows the team to set their sights on Europe.
“The coach told us at the break that we had to play looser and be without fear. He asked for more crosses into the box and more depth. We created more chances and the goals followed. They controlled the game in the first half. We were at their expense because they were playing at home, but the team has been very good. We are in a good dynamic and we have to take advantage of it. We have cured our issues and we are looking up at those positions for Europe. It’s very difficult to win. We have taken a big step and we can’t let the points escape us at home. If the coach had taken me off he would have done so for the good of the team, but I feel very good.”
Iñaki Williams was the man of the match, scoring the first goal and assisting the winner. The forward made it clear that the Lions have to keep playing at this level and also stated that the only focus is Wednesday’s match against Levante.
“We know that we have to continue like this. We don’t have permanence yet, but we must be ambitious. We are aware that we’ve suffered so we have to go step by step and focus on the game on Wednesday. Now I am seeing the goal and I’m doing my job. With this hard work great things will surely come. We’ve remade ourselves and the defensive work has been very good. Where we want to be is in Europe.”
Depending on the other matches around Spain over the weekend, Athletic could move into 6th place on Wednesday if they are able to beat Levante at San Mamés. The Lions will be without Dani García who suffered a hamstring injury, although Athletic have played at a very high level no matter who has been on the field for Garitano. With just 9 games left on the schedule, every single point is vitally important.