Unai López “If We Are Together And Strong There Is No Ceiling”
Unai López has been given a second chance at Athletic. After failing to secure a starting role last season the midfielder has returned to the lineup this year and has played well. López understands that he will have to continue earning his place but believes that Athletic have the quality to be a very successful team.
“We have no ceiling”, López told Onda Vasca. “If we are together and strong there is no ceiling. We have to go game by game because the season is very long and has just begun, but working like this I’m sure we will win many games. We are very confident.”
One thing that has always held López back is his defensive contributions. The midfielder has often struggled to defend well, but that all seems to be changing under Gaizka Garitano. When asked about it, the 23-year-old explained that he has become a more complete player.
“Gaizka has asked me to be stronger in the defensive aspects and I think it’s important to help the team in this facet. I have become mentally aware of what I have to do. I enjoy defending as long as is serves to win games and helps the team. I will do whatever is asked of me to help the team. I don’t think defending more has taken away other aspects of my game. It’s made me a complete player.”
López has never been the biggest or strongest player on the field, but believes that he makes up for his with athleticism. The midfielder has worked hard to earn a starting role and knows that he must continue to do so every day.
“I have been judged for my physical qualities by some who think they are worse than they actually are. I know that I’m not the most physically strong player but I am in great physical shape and have no problems playing a full 90 minutes. It’s not something that worries me. I’ve worked for my chances and I’m happy, although now I have to work harder than ever to continue like this.”
Unai López will be expected to start once again alongside Dani García as Athletic face off with Mallorca on Friday night. The Lions will have to be at their best to pick up another important three points at keep pace near the top of the La Liga table.