Joseba Etxeberria “The Result Was A Little Cruel”

Joseba Etxeberria admits Bilbao Athletic were outplayed by Haro (AC)

Bilbao Athletic have been fighting for a top spot in the table all season and were looking to build on wins over Real Sociedad B and Alavés B on Wednesday when Haro Deportivo visited Lezama. Despite a strong start the Kumeak eventually conceded two goals in the second half with one being a late winner for Haro in the 95th minute to steal all three points.

“The result was a little cruel,” manager Joseba Etxeberria told reporters after the game. “There was little fluidity to the game and too many stoppages. We gave them too much and they hurt us. We did some things well and others poorly. It wasn’t our best game. We must reflect and learn from this so that we will have better concentration in these occasions.”

While Bilbao Athletic didn’t play their best the manager was also quick to highlight that Haro put in an impressive performance. The visitors won most of the challenges which played a big role in the final outcome.

“I congratulate Haro because they played a great game. They are an organized team with a supportive defense and forwards that attack well. We generated more in the first half but we also gave away a penalty. They were able to score more goals in the second and were stronger in the physical duels. They had the advantage in challenges and our errors penalized us.”

Etxeberria had to make due without midfielder Unai Vencedor who was suspended for the match, though his replacement Julen Bernaola scored both of the team’s goals. “I think we have to try to make everyone be at their best level so that the team performs well,” the manager explained. “Julen gave us balance and freed Zarraga and Sancet. He was great on both goals. It’s not easy to score while playing in that position.”

“We must reflect and learn from this.” (AC)

In closing, the Mister praised Oihan Sancet while celebrating the return of Dani Vivian who was sidelined for over three months with a lower back injury. Both have the quality to contribute to the first team and can be key players for Bilbao Athletic throughout the remainder of the season.

“Sancet has the dynamics for the first team, but he’s young and needs to play. If that’s with the first team then that’s even better. It’s important to be competing. The best news is that after a long period out Dani (Vivian) is accumulating minutes. It didn’t seem like a long-term injury at the time but that’s what it became.”

Bilbao Athletic will be hoping to bounce back from the defeat on Sunday when the team travels to La Planilla for a match against Calahorra. For now the Kumeak sit third in the table but will need to continue adding points to ensure their place in the promotional playoff.

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