Gaizka Garitano “We Deserved To Finish Seventh”
Athletic’s European dream has come to an end. The Lions fell 2-0 to Sevilla on the final day of the season to finish 8th while also failing to qualify for Europe. After the match Gaizka Garitano admitted that it was hard to accept, but he’s full of pride for his players who completely turned around the season. The Mister believes Athletic deserved to finish 7th.
“This is a difficult time, but I’m very proud of the players because of where we came from. So, for what we did in the second half and the shot off the post in the 92nd minute, I think we deserved to finish seventh. The second half was much better. We did very little in attack during the first half, but after the break we went for the victory because they lost their intensity.”
The first half wasn’t great from Athletic who were unable to create anything going forward. Garitano brought on Aritz Aduriz in the 75th minute and that’s when the Lions were able to get something going. Opportunities were there, but the Lions fell short.
“Bringing on Aduriz is when we got better. We didn’t have space to run because Sevilla defender well. Aduriz helped open up space to attack. We were very close to scoring the goal. It’s logical to say that both teams wanted to play for a draw, but those things are impossible. Both teams came to win.”
Knowing that they won’t be playing in Europe, Gaizka Garitano can truly start preparing for next season. “We had two plans for next season and now we have to work with not qualifying for Europe”, said the Mister. “We have to start from scratch. The squad is more or less decided and we will have to work on preparations.” Europe will be the goal again when Athletic football returns.