Gaizka Garitano “I’m Not Satisfied Because We Wanted To Win”
Athletic left San Mamés on Saturday frustrated with the scoreless draw against Eibar. While the Lions played poorly in the first half they were far better after the break and created three clear scoring chances including one goal that was called by after a VAR review. Gaizka Garitano lamented Athletic’s inability to possess the ball in the final third when talking to reporters after the match, but was pleased with the defensive performance.
“We didn’t do things well in the first half, but we faced a team that exposed us to direct play and pressed us hard,” said the manager. “We had no ideas to get out of the pressure and there was hardly 20 minutes of real play. We were kept away from the goal, which is what we didn’t want to happen. In the second half there were three chances and they were all ours.”
Garitano went on to praise Eibar for playing a great game and highlighted their performance as the biggest factor in the final result. “Playing was impossible because Eibar never let you put more than three passes together,” said Garitano. “There was no space to play between the lines or for Unai (López) to turn. We saw the merit of Eibar and not the Athletic football of other games. Eibar pressed very well.”
The Mister was also asked about the decision to start Mikel San José alongside Dani García. Garitano explained that the team needed more strength in the midfield and that was pleased with San José’s performance.
“We have lacked finesse and variety. We have a couple of players, Unai López and Muniain, who can play through the middle and turn around, but today we needed San José in that aspect. He was needed to strengthen to midfield and he helped us a lot in that direct game where Eibar had many second plays and set pieces.”
In the end, Garitano can’t be happy with the result. Athletic had an opportunity to take all three points and instead must share one with their Basque rivals.
“I’m not satisfied because we wanted to win and because we wanted to play our game. I’m happy because after conceding three goals the other day we didn’t give them a single chance, but we have missed our football and we were close to winning. Practically, football wasn’t even played because there were so many stoppages.”
Athletic will now turn their attention to Tuesday’s Copa del Rey match against Intercity. The Zurigorri must win the game to advance to the next round and after the Cup clash will travel to Real Madrid and Sevilla for two demanding games on the road.