Unai Nuñez “We Want To Qualify For Europe More Than Anyone”

Unai Nunez Alaves

Unai Nuñez was the best player on the field in Athletic’s draw with Alavés (AC)

Unai Nuñez started his second straight game in Saturday’s Basque Derby against Alavés where he was arguably the best player on the pitch. The defender made several big tackles, though the Lions were unable to keep Alavés from equalizing and securing a 1-1 draw at San Mamés. After the match, Nuñez admitted that the Lions struggled in the first half, but believes they were much better after the break.

“We didn’t start well against Alavés but we turned things around. We put ourselves ahead and then we had bad luck because they scored before the break. I think we had much clearer chances in the second half and they only had the one at the end of the game with Wakaso. We tried to play from behind, which we haven’t done this year. We made some foolish passes and put ourselves in danger, but we managed to turn it around in the second half.”

Saturday’s Derby was Athletic’s third game in six days. It’s been a grueling schedule for the Zurigorri who have also been without several key players due to injury. Still, they’ve been able to get positive results and have set their targets on a top 7 finish and European qualification.

“It’s true that we have played three games in one week but we are very well physically, especially considering we are near the end of the season. We will work our hardest to reach our goal of Europe. We want that goal. We want to qualify for Europe more than anyone. Finishing 7th means the season would start in July but that doesn’t matter to us. We are going to the death with the coach and with his ideas. Gaizka has great ideas and we have to continue following them.”

Athletic will travel to Real Valladolid next Sunday for another big game. Valladolid are in desperate need of points to move free of the relegation battle and won’t be an easy opponent, especially at home. That being said, there are only three games left on the schedule and Athletic must continue adding points to achieve their European goal.

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