Yuri Berchiche “Going Into The Break With 20 Points Is A Pleasure”
Yuri Berchiche’s season has already been full of adversity. While being one of the top left-backs in La Liga, the 29-year-old has also had to deal with ongoing pain after dislocating his right shoulder over a month ago. During Sunday’s win over Levante Berchiche almost had to come out of the game after a throw in, but explained to reporters on Wednesday that he has no plans to stop right now.
“There’s no problem but I’m worried…well a little. It’s annoying to play like this and there are actions in which I have a lot of pain, but I’m aware that I must continue until I see that I can’t anymore. I haven’t considered stopping and I haven’t even spoken with the club’s medical services. During the week, when I train, I haven’t had a mishap. That may also be because you don’t go 100% but for now I’m comfortable. We will evaluate and ask what’s best when there is more time in the summer.”
The defender went on to share that he doesn’t really notice the shoulder pain during games because he’s so focused on the match. However, there are moments and movements that make it impossible to ignore.
“I don’t realize it during games because of the adrenaline. It’s true that there are moments that can cause me to be in pain for three or four minutes, but for now they are isolated moments. Overall I feel comfortable, like the whole team. When you’re focused you don’t stop to think like the other day during the throw in. You want to get the ball in fast, not waste time, and let the game flow.”
Looking at the season overall, Berchiche is encouraged by the team’s last three matches. The left-back admitted that Athletic must improve their form away from home, but believes the Lions can challenge for Europe if they are consistent.
“The last three games have been very good and the only drawback is that we need to take a step forward away from home. The last outing against Villarreal, who are a complicated team, was very good. We will go to El Sadar with the same intention of being solid defensively and taking the three points. To finish high we will have to be very consistent all season.”
Athletic currently sit 6th in the La Liga table which is a good place to be after 13 games. “Above all, the feelings from the other day were very good,” Berchiche concluded. “Going into the break like this, with 20 points, is a pleasure. We have already seen the line we have to follow with this last game as an example.”
As expected, Berchiche was also asked about ongoing drama with Athletic scheduled to play five straight games at 2:00pm on Sunday. “I don’t dislike the schedule and it’s even given us luck,” he answered with a smile. Berchiche has been very critical about the situation in recent weeks. “What isn’t normal is that there are five consecutive games in the same time slot. There are more teams that can share that schedule with us.”
The schedule will be improving with the league announcing the schedules for the next round of games, none of which will have Athletic playing in the 2:00pm Sunday time slot. However, for now the team is solely focused on preparing for the upcoming trip to El Sadar next weekend with hopes of putting an end to Osasuna’s dominance at home and picking up another important three points.