Joseba Etxeberria “Our Mistakes Will Help Us Learn”
Bilbao Athletic had a chance to win their fifth straight game on Saturday as they welcomed Amorebieta to Lezama, but the game didn’t go as planned. The visitors scored two goals in the first half before the Kumeak took a 3-2 lead after the break. However, Amorebieta equalized and the game ended in a 3-3 draw. After the match, manager Joseba Etxeberria explained that both halves were different and that the team has to do a better job of protecting the ball.
“There were two games in one”, Etxeberria began. “In the first half we struggled and our passing was very bad. We were uncomfortable with the ball, inaccurate, and that had a negative impact on the defense. Amorebieta were well-organized. Our mistakes will help us learn because we want to be a brave and determined team.”
Etxeberria brought on Jesús Areso and Victor San Bartolomé at halftime and shared that both were tactical changes. The team was much stronger in the final 45 minutes and could have won the game if not for Amorebieta’s third goal.
“I didn’t take off Luengo and Salado because they were any worse than the others, but to try to change some things. We did well after the break. That first goal put us back in the game and then we scored another one which complicated things. We were in position to win, but also lose, and it ended in a draw with good and bad feelings.”
Final score aside, Saturday’s match at Lezama was thrilling football. “We added a point”, Etxeberria summarized. “Fortunately, the team is creating chances and from the midfield to the forwards we are very good. We have confidence in set-pieces with players like Morcillo and Vencedor who take good kicks and we have to take advantage of that.”
In closing, the manager gave an update on the squad with a handful of players still recovering from injuries. Etxeberria praised the fact that there is strong competition at every position and believes that most of the players will be available again very soon.
“Córdoba still has some discomfort. Núñez will be cleared soon and Imanol has a little time left. Tascón will be out for longer. Jokin ended the game with pain from a blow with Vivian. His ribs and leg are slightly sore. We will see how he recovers but he’s a tough guy. There is competition to win every position.”
Bilbao Athletic’s draw was enough to keep the Kumeak at the top of the table, but other teams could make up ground with matches still to be played on Sunday. Etxeberria’s side will be back in action next Saturday when they travel to Stadium Gal for a match against Real Unión.