Gaizka Garitano “We Are A Team That Will Struggle To Score Goals”
For the first time since Gaizka Garitano took over as manager, Athletic have lost two consecutive matches. The Lions fell 1-0 to Celta Vigo at Balaídos on Sunday in what was yet another disappointing performance. After the game the Mister admitted that he is still optimistic about this season while also acknowledging that the Basques have to find ways to score more goals.
“I’m optimistic. We’ve suffered two consecutive defeats and we have to keep going. Both games were lost by one goal and we weren’t able to score in either. The outcome was the same because we pressed very hard in the first half but the decisions up front weren’t good and we lost the ball too easily. We played against an opponent with a lot of quality that forced us to be perfect defensively. We are a team that will struggle to score goals.”
Garitano went on to admit that Athletic haven’t been good enough in attack so far this season. Creating chances has been difficult and turning the ball over has put a lot of pressure on the defense.
“We did very little in attack. We have more problems with the ball going forward. In those last 30 or 40 meters of the field we have to do more because we aren’t doing a good enough job. We play a very high line with attacking players. Creating chances has been difficult for us. There are many moments in which we must do something else in attack. We are always looking for solutions. It’s true that we’ve been losing an offensive presence, especially in the second half. Losing the ball so many times makes things very difficult.”
Iker Muniain and Iñaki Williams haven’t been at their best over the opening eight matches, but Garitano doesn’t doubt the two stars. He believes the pair will find their rhythm soon and explained that Mikel Vesga was inserted into the starting lineup to provide more coverage in the midfield.
“Williams and Muniain are our franchise players and we can’t doubt them. Gradually they will show their best level and will score goals. Vesga started because Celta plays with many players in the midfield and we wanted to two strong pivots. Also, with the loss of Yuri, we wanted a player with a more defensive presence.”
In closing, Garitano was asked about the plans for Oihan Sancet. The 19-year-old made his second appearance of the season and the manager shared that they wanted him with Bilbao Athletic to begin the year in order to have regular minutes. Moving forward he could have more chances.
“Sancet is a young player who didn’t play for a year because of a serious injury. We wanted him to play with Bilbao Athletic the last month to have minutes. He needs time because he is a player for the future and we also hope he can be a player for the present.” As Athletic spend the international break preparing for their next match players like Sancet could be the answer that Garitano is looking for to fix problem areas.