Athletic Players Satisfied With Draw Against Leganés

Gaizka Larrazabal Leganes

Gaizka Larrazabal was excited to make his first start for Athletic (AC)

Athletic’s draw against Leganés on Wednesday wasn’t the result that fans or the team were hoping for. On paper, the Lions were by far the better side but going on the road in the middle of the week against an opponent desperate for points is never easy. Athletic’s didn’t play their best game, however they did manage to secure another valuable point and the players were pleased with the result when speaking to Athletic TV after the match.

“We knew it was going to be a difficult match”, said Unai Nuñez. “From the very beginning we went out with everything we had, at 120 percent. It’s a pity that they scored a goal but we have to take the draw at a difficult field as a good result. We shouldn’t be so negative. We must continue on this line and, if possible, improve away from home.” Iago Herrerín echoed the same sentiment. “The point was good, but we have to be even better on Saturday.”

Herrerín went on to explain that he’s gotten to the point where he views every game as a final as he seeks to prove himself to the manager. Many fans blamed the keeper for Leganés’s free-kick goal which leveled the score but he refuses to spend time worrying about the criticism.

“I wanted to make the most of my opportunities. I have become accustomed to playing qualifying matches. For me, each match is a final. I think I did well. At first I was a little lost but I did well, I was calm, and that is what I will take from this game. I didn’t trust anything so I had two options, either break down and train poorly or train well and that is what the coach has seen. If one of our players had scored the goal we would be saying it was a great goal. Some will say I did poorly, others won’t.”

Playing at Butarque is always special to Herrerín who spent part of the season on loan with Leganés back in 2016. “For me, Leganés is like a family”, he explained. “They treated me well, it was great from the first minute. They always made me feel loved and that is important.”

Iago Herrerin Leganes

Iago Herrerín isn’t taking anything for granted after losing the starting role (AC)

Gaizka Larrazabal made his first start for Athletic since being promoted over the summer. The 21-year-old played quite well and stated that he just tried to do what the manager asked. Larrazabal also admitted that the level of football in the First Division is far different to playing with Bilbao Athletic.

“I tried to do what the coached asked me to do, play in space and take advantage of long balls. I’m very happy to make my first start. It’s a moment you crave from the moment you come into the team. I also felt a great responsibility starting on a teal of this level. Playing in the Primera is another level of intensity, another rhythm. In the first five minutes you realize it’s not like the Segunda B with Bilbao Athletic.”

Wednesday’s draw saw Athletic drop to third in the La Liga table, but the Basques remain unbeaten this season. With Valencia coming to San Mamés on Saturday the Zurigorri will immediately shift their focus for yet another massive game with hopes of picking up three more points at home.f

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