Gaizka Garitano “If We Are Leaders It’s Because We Deserve It”
At Athletic prepare for Wednesday’s match against Leganes, Gaizka Garitano is keeping the focus level. The Lions may be traveling to face the club at the bottom of the La Liga table but the Mister isn’t taking anything for granted. Athletic currently sit at the top of the standings and Garitano explained during Tuesday’s press conference that the team has earned their place.
“If we are leaders it’s because we deserve it. The higher we are the better. I know the reality and what it costs to win every day. We must remain humble. I’m very satisfied. We are a very united team with the goal of winning. We all work going back and going forward. Athletic is the most important thing above each player and coach. That’s clear to all of us.”
Garitano went on to discuss that being the league leaders at this point in the season doesn’t really mean anything. Leganés will still be a very strong test for the Basques and getting a good result at Butarque will be a huge challenge.
“First against last on day thirty is much different than on day five. The difference between Athletic and Leganés isn’t very much right now. It will be difficult to get something if we don’t play a good game. Leganés are usually very strong at home and win many games. Not having won yet makes them more dangerous. They played a good game in Valencia and created good chances against Osasuna and Atlético. It’s twice as difficult to win away from home.”
After playing a Basque Derby on Sunday it will be important for Garitano to rotate the team and manage the workload well. “Some players have overloads like Muniain, Williams, and Aduriz, but we aren’t going to give any clues before the game”, the manager stated. “We will see if they are able to train. We’ll see how they are and I will talk to them and decide if they can be available tomorrow.” Muniain and Williams were included in the squad list but Aduriz and Unai López were left out.
This season the Basques have been dominant at San Mamés, but have only managed draws away from home. “We always ask for more”, Garitano responded when asked about the disparity. “Winning on the road like we do at home would be unreal, but it’s not out of reach. We drew with Mallorca and Getafe and those were good results.” Taking all three points at Butarque would see Athletic continue their fantastic start to the season and keep their place at the top of the table