Gaizka Larrazabal “I Have A Lot To Contribute”
Athletic have been one of the best teams in La Liga over the course of the first four matches and will look to built on the momentum on Sunday as they welcome Alavés for a Basque Derby. It won’t be an easy game for the Lions, but playing at San Mamés always give the players an edge. Gaizka Larrazabal addressed the media on Wednesday ahead of the fixture and explained that Athletic are overflowing with confidence.
“We will continue with the idea of what we’ve been doing, especially in games at home. We want to have intensity to wear down opponents and hurt them on the counter. This team is strong and full of confidence. The results at home give us strength to face Sunday’s match. I think it will be a good game.”
Following last Friday’s draw against Mallorca the team quickly turned their attention to Alavés. Athletic have done well against opponents who like to have possession, but know that they will be facing a different system with Alavés. Either way, Larrazabal says the Lions will trust in their football that has already brought so much success.
“We have already been preparing for the match against Alavés and training hard to be as ready as possible. I’m looking forward to Sunday. The game plan will be different from others because Barcelona and Real like to have more of the ball but Alavés isn’t of that profile. We are clear about how we should approach the game. We will play our game, do what we know, and hopefully things will come out well.”
Speaking of Athletic’s style of football, Larrazabal isn’t put off by playing defensively. The young winger explained that the most important thing is keeping a clean sheet and he trusts that the team has enough talent to score goals to decide results.
“Honestly, it’s true that we are more defensive but I think it’s more important that you don’t concede goals. The goals will come because we have players with the quality to score them. They will come. I learned last year that you have to trust yourself and they will come.”
With Athletic preparing to play three games in six days, Larrazabal will be given chances to play. The 21-year-old shared that he has the confidence of the manager and knows that he can offer things that no one else can in the team.
“The coach has already said on occasions that he considers me a different player, explosive and with potential. He said that I’m the missing profile and with work I have a lot to contribute. In the games that I’ve played I went on thinking that I could score. I always think I can score. I really want to score my first goal and I know that sooner or later it will come.”
The upcoming games against Alavés, Leganés, and Valencia will be a strong test to truly gauge this Athletic team. Gaizka Garitano has only rotated the lineup due to injury through the opening four matches and will now have to trust other players to step up. The Zurigorri are confident that they will continue adding points and will take it one game at a time.