Gaizka Garitano “It’s Not Easy To Get Good Results In The Primera”
Athletic are looking for their first road win of the season and Sunday’s trip to Celta Vigo could be the perfect opportunity. The Lions have won in five of their last six visits to Balaídos and have historically played well in Galicia. Gaizka Garitano has called up 19 players for the flight to Vigo and was asked about how the team will cope without having Yuri Berchiche available for the match.
“Every player is vital, but I can’t call up everyone. Not all fit and we build the game plan according to what we see. When someone isn’t available, there is another with different characteristics who is ready. We will have to compensate for any changes in defense and attack. Córdoba and Beñat aren’t lacking anything to be called up. I’m delighted with them but we can only have 18 players for a match.”
Looking ahead to the game, Garitano highlighted Celta’s plethora of attacking options. The Galicians have had a slow start to the season but the Mister is fully aware that they can be a dangerous team going forward.
“We will try to be as competitive as always. Celta are in great need and we have to feel the same. We haven’t lost on the road but we haven’t won either and that makes us want to get that victory at last. We will win by playing a good game. We know the technical quality they have it you look at each player. If we are not focused it will be a complicated match. We have to press well because they can move the ball out of pressure, although they have been the most dangerous in transitions. We have to be alert because if they get out of the pressure they have fast players up front.”
Many thought that Celta manager Fran Escribá would be sacked following their loss to Eibar but will still be leading the club on Sunday. When asked about the situation, Garitano was quick to point out that every manager has pressure to perform.
“We all live with that uncertainty, all 20 coaches in the Primera. When you lose two games in a row you feel that pressure but he’s a great coach. In addition, he’s played against many of the best teams in the league. Aspas is going to score goals but I hope he doesn’t start against us.”
Athletic’s loss to Valencia was disappointing but Garitano explained that the team has used it to get better. The Lions recognized areas that they need to improve and have been working to correct mistakes all week.
“The loss to Valencia helped us realize what we were doing wrong and give more value to what we do well. It’s not easy to get good results in the Primera. We’ve lost only one game but now we have to respond to a defeat. We must improve our set pieces, the quality of crosses from the wings, and being in dangerous positions in the box. We are close to the top of the table but you always have to polish things to continue doing well.”
Garitano went on to share that the team is dedicated to improving every day. Even the best teams have to constantly get better to compete at the highest level and the Lions believe they are ready for the clash with Celta.
“Even if you are first you always have a lot to improve. There are so many details in football and you always want to do better. We weren’t used to losing a game and that’s good. It’s part of the game. We don’t have to be very happy when we win or very sad when we lose. We had a good week of training and we are looking forward to the match at Balaídos.”
Last season, Athletic didn’t win their first game away from home until January. That victory also came at Balaídos although Garitano doesn’t really care to dwell on the past.
“I don’t usually look at what we did last year. We were good in critical situation and we hope to play a good game and win, but you can’t compare one year to the next. Last year we were under a lot of demand and it was a very important victory. We will strive for the same result tomorrow.”
A win in Galicia could see Athletic climb as high as second in the La Liga table depending on other results throughout the weekend. With the international break coming up the Zurigorri are hoping for a positive result to build confidence but know that it will be far from simple. Celta are desperate for points which makes this game an early final in the season.