Gaizka Garitano “We Have To Score Goals”
Athletic’s trip to the Wanda Metropolitano comes at a very challenging time. The Lions are winless in their last four games and are will be in danger of falling out of the top half of the table unless they can get a positive result against Atlético Madrid on Saturday. While addressing the media on Friday, manager Gaizka Garitano set the expectation that the Lions will have to find ways to score goals in order to bring points back home to Bilbao.
“We are one of the best teams defensively, along with Atlético, and we both have the same number of goals conceded and score. It’s hard to score goals in the Primera. The challenge will be trying to score against Atlético because they have kept 8 clean sheets in their 12 games this year. We have created fewer chances away from home but we have to score.”
Garitano went on to admit that the Lions aren’t in their best run of form. The winless streak has seen Athletic drop several spots in the La Liga table, but the manager says that the team is confident they can turn things around quickly.
“We have achieved three draws on the road and haven’t won yet, but we’ve only lost once. Between home and away we’ve gone four consecutive games without winning so there is need. We have never gone so long without winning. We’re not nervous, but we are responsible. We are eager and in need, which is something that we have every day. You need goals to win away from home and, on their field, scoring is the challenge.”
When asked to analyze the current state of Atlético Madrid, Garitano began by pointing out that they are one of the strongest teams Athletic will face all season. The Colchoneros haven’t won a league game at home since early September and the Mister is confident that the Lions can make things very difficult for their hosts if they play well.
“They are one of the best teams in Europe so they are used to winning games. They are candidates to win the league and the Champions League. I don’t know how their results influence them because they are great competitors. I’m more aware of us and concerned that we do things well and are in the game until the end. Everything is tight in the league and it’s difficult to win. It will be hard for them to win if we do things right. You can lose to anyone in this league because things are decided by the little details.”
In conclusion, Garitano confirmed that Yuri Berchiche has been cleared to play after recovering from a dislocated shoulder. “Yuri has trained normally throughout the week and is available”, he stated. “If he plays, it’s because he’s well.” Athletic will be at full strength going into Saturday’s match which could be a difference maker against such a strong opponent.