Yuri Berchiche “We Are Tired And A Little Disappointed”
Yuri Berchiche was a surprising inclusion to the starting lineup on Saturday as Athletic faced off with Espanyol at RCDE Stadium. The left-back was expected to miss the game entirely after leaving training early on Thursday with thigh discomfort. In the end, Berchiche played the full 90 minutes but was frustrated with only securing a 1-1 draw away form home.
“In the first half we could have had more goals,” he told reporters. “We have to correct our finishing in front of goal. The team did a good job but we lost two points. We are tired and a little disappointed. We have lost four points in the last two games and in those games we were better than our opponents who are both at the bottom of the table. These are missed opportunities because those higher up in the table continue to add points.”
Athletic will have no time to dwell on the draw as they must now prepare for Tuesday’s Copa del Rey trip to Tenerife. Berchiche admitted that he doesn’t know much about Tenerife’s team but is confident that Athletic has the quality to reach the final.
“With the changes in the Cup format everyone is giving their best. With a win we can put ourselves in the quarterfinals. We always have the hope of playing in the final and it would be great for the team because we’ve worked hard for it. I can’t give an opinion on Tenerife because I haven’t seen any of their matches. I’ll leave that for the coaches and analysts. Surely Garitano will tell us tomorrow about how they play and our plans.”
It’s very likely that Berchiche will be given an opportunity to rest against Tenerife with Mikel Balenziaga taking his place in the starting lineup. However, Gaizka Garitano has consistently called up key players for Cup matches which likely means that Yuri Berchiche will have a place on the bench and will be ready to play if needed.