Gaizka Garitano “We Would’ve Liked To Win, But The Point Is Fair”
Athletic picked up a very important point on Saturday with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Getafe. Getting a good result at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez is never easy and after the match was over Gaizka Garitano explained that all the changes he made were in hopes of scoring a winner. In the end, a draw was a fair result.
“We started very well and did a lot of damage with Capa and De Marcos, but Getafe presses a lot and every time you make a mistake they hurt you. In the second half it was hard for one side to overtake the other. We tried to push forward but we could have been better on set pieces because we weren’t very good. I made the changes to win. We ended up playing with Aduriz and Williams and then Raúl and Muniain somewhat behind them. We attacked with everyone we had.”
The Mister went on to praise his team’s defending. Getafe are known for scoring a lot of goals at home and Athletic were able to keep their hosts from creating much going forward.
“The team defended very well. Getafe usually creates a lot of chances here and today they generated very little because we did a good job. At this field, where it’s hard to score, you have to be good defensively. We worked for the win, but I think that the draw is a just result because there weren’t many chances for either team.”
After two games into the season, Athletic already have four points. Garitano admitted that he would have immediately signed up for a start like this before the campaign began but also acknowledged that the Basques would have preferred to take all three points against Getafe.
“I believe we’ve demonstrated maturity. We’ve started with four points against Barcelona and Getafe. We would’ve signed up for this before the start of the league, but you’re never happy because you want to win every game. We knew what this field required and we have done well. We would’ve liked to win, but the point is fair. You have to be happy because not many will get points here this season.”
Oscar De Marcos’s injury in the first half really changed things for Athletic. Garitano noted that he chose to bring on Gaizka Larrazabal because he wanted more pace on the right wing. The Mister also revealed that he started Beñat over Unai López in the midfield because he knew there would be a lot of set pieces against Getafe.
“Gaizka was brought on because I was looking for speed on the wing. We were doing well in the first half with Capa and De Marcos. It was unfortunate that De Marcos was injured because he was giving us a lot. Gaizka usually puts the ball in better but I’m happy with his debut. The other day it was Oihan (Sancet) and today it was Larra. That’s a very good thing. Beñat is the type of player that gives us that type of football we were looking for today. He’s a specialist at a field like this where there are many fouls and corner kicks.”
Athletic will have the chance to build on their strong start Friday night when they welcome Real Sociedad to San Mamés. The first Basque Derby will be one of the biggest games of the season and the Lions are determined to take all three points at home.