Raúl García “We Want To Keep Fighting For As Long As Possible”
Raúl García is enjoying life under Gaizka Garitano. After struggling to perform in Eduardo Berizzo’s system, the midfielder is now playing a more comfortable role that has seen him become a dangerous weapon for Athletic. He took the time to address the media following Thursday’s training session and admitted that the style of play has completely changed.
“The way we are playing now is totally different than before. I have another role and the mission of doing something different. I’m enjoying more chances that I didn’t have before. It’s not about feeling better than before or whatever. I just feel comfortable. I like to get into the box and have shots from crosses, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t adapt to another position if it’s required of me.”
Looking ahead to Sunday’s match, García admits that Rayo have improved under their new manager as well. They will come into the game desperate for points and the midfielder says that Athletic must take advantage of that if they want to win at San Mamés.
“Rayo have changed a lot with respect to Paco Jémez, especially offensively. They will come with the idea of winning. Hopefully, we can control what happens and take the points on our field. If you are down and have that anxiety for the need to win you will do everything to make it happen. We have to take advantage of their need. We play with the need to win as well and we hope to control what happens. In Getafe everyone knew the match could go that way and there are many things to improve.”
Despite playing at such a high level under Garitano, Raúl García still recognizes that there are a lot of things that the team can improve. He’s proud of the way that they have turned things around and credited the hard work for the good results over the past few weeks.
“There are teams that win more away from home, but it’s easier to take games forward when you have everyone supporting you. We have to improve many things, like playing on the road the same way that we do at San Mamés. We’ve turned things around. It’s a demonstration of the hunger of this team. Some things come together and others don’t. It’s when we work the most and aspire for the best that good things come. The group was down and we wanted to save ourselves. Now we want to keep fighting for as long as possible.”
With Aritz Aduriz unavailable it’s been up to García and others to step up. “I have the same respect for all of my teammates”, said the 32-year-old. “When they are not there you have to take a step forward to compensate for the absences. In the case of Aritz, I’m not going to talk about what it means. Everyone knows that he gives a lot to this team.” Aduriz made his return last weekend 87 days after suffering a knee injury and could play a big role in the final seven matches of the season.