Ibai Gómez “We Have A Tremendous Opportunity Against Real Valladolid”
When Ibai Gómez suffered a sprained ankle against Getafe there was concern that he wouldn’t be able to return this season. However, he worked hard and was back in training on Sunday. There’s a chance that he could be called up for Sunday’s trip to Real Valladolid and he told reporters on Wednesday that he’s very happy to be back with the group.
“It was my goal to get back on the field and I’m very happy to be training with the group. I’m good and Gaizka will decide. I’m working to contribute to the team. The positive mentality helps me because injuries make you learn a lot. It’s the complicated moments where you learn the most. I have evolved. Injuries make you learn a lot. I came out stronger from the injury against Getafe because of what I’ve learned.”
Gómez went on to say that he feels great and is doing everything possible to convince Gaizka Garitano to call him up for Sunday’s match. Dani García, Yeray, and Ander Capa have all returned to training as well which the winger says is very important because Athletic will need everybody to achieve their goal of qualifying for Europe.
“I’ve been back in training for two days and I’m working to have the best possible chance of going to Valladolid. Dani, Yeray, and Capa are all training again too. We need everybody because there is a high price and a lot left to play for. All of us being available makes us work at a high pace so that the coach can choose us. I had the luck to score against Valladolid when I was with Alavés and hopefully that luck is repeated.”
Athletic are aware that Sunday’s match won’t be easy. Real Valladolid will be playing at home and are desperate for points in hopes of avoiding relegation. At the same time, the Lions also need points if they are going to secure a top 7 finish this season. Both sides will be cautious of taking risks which means that chances won’t come easily.
“We have to know what we are going to face because the need for points is shared. We still have a possibility of fourth place and we have to fight these last three games that we have left. We have to win. Now, more than ever, the priority is that we have to remain a seasoned team. the final games of the league are always different. We know that there won’t be many chances and that we must take advantage. We have a tremendous opportunity against Real Valladolid and we are very excited.”
When asked about Athletic’s poor form of late, Gómez chuckled. “That kind of analysis makes me smile”, he answered. “The points against Leganés have helped us fight for what we are fighting for now. The priority is to win. I would sign right now for these last three games to go the same way as the one against Leganés, a 1-0 win.” It doesn’t matter how Athletic win games right now, the team just wants three points.
In closing, the 29-year-old was asked about the news that Ander Iturraspe and Mikel Rico will be leaving the club this summer. “We have a big squad and some have to leave, but many others will stay”, he began. “Ander and Mikel are players who have done a lot here and contribute a lot to the group. I can only thank them for what they have done and wish them the best.”