Oscar De Marcos “If The Cup Final Comes I Hope To Be Able To Play”
The countdown has officially begun for Oscar De Marcos. After undergoing ankle surgery on 20 December the right-back was recently cleared to start running at Lezama and hopes to be able to the field at some point in the next month. On Wednesday, the 30-year-old gave a press conference following training where he shared that the recovery process has gone very well.
“I’m better and already working on the field. It’s a good sign. The recovery time was expected to be three months and that’s what it will be more or less. We will see if I can be back earlier. I want to return in good conditions to add and not hurt the team. The recovery has been good.”
De Marcos has been a key player for Athletic for the past decade and admitted that recent injuries have been taxing. Watching the team without being able to play is difficult but it shouldn’t be much longer until he can finally rejoin his teammates.
“I demand a lot from my body. I’ve already played 11 seasons as a professional and they take their toll. The ankle had given me problems for a while. Hopefully the doctors have been successful, I believe they have. They opened it up and found little things which they corrected. Being outside of the team brings a lot of desire because it’s been a long time of just watching games on TV or in the stands.”
While De Marcos hasn’t been able to play for the past few months, he’s watched the team closely. When asked about the poor run of form in La Liga, the veteran revealed that he thinks Athletic have played well and isn’t necessary concerned about the results.
“Right now the dynamics are bad in terms of results. We have had a similar streak before and we have to face it and correct it starting on Sunday. There has been more than one game that could have fallen on our side. I don’t think it’s alarming, but we must change it as soon as possible and doing so this Sunday would be better because then we go to Granada and we have to play well there.”
Naturally, Gaizka Garitano has received the bulk of the blame. De Marcos agreed that the manager is always the first to be held accountable, but also points out that the players must accept their fair share as well.
“He’s the coach and the first one to be judged. Until recently there were compliments and now there’s some criticism. Instead of criticizing the whole squad, all 25, only one is being criticized. We all have part of the blame. The Mister is calm and has very clear ideas of what he has to do.”
Fatigue has also played a role in Athletic’s ten-game run without a win in the league. However, De Marcos refuses to let that be an excuse and acknowledged that the team has prioritized the Copa del Rey.
“There have been many games but I see everyone well. There will always be times of fatigue, it’s normal, but it’s not an excuse for bad results. I’ve seen the matches fairly even and now we have to be closer together than ever. Last year we were in a difficult situation but it’s not like that now. We’ve lived very nice nights in San Mamés and maybe we’ve focused a lot on the Cup, but we also have to win in the league.”
If the recovery continues to go well De Marcos could be cleared for the Cup final in April. “Right now we are in the semis and if the final comes I hope to be available to play,” he said with a smile. “I remember the first finals I reached. You visualize it, you see it, and it’s a great dream. We’re excited but we all have our feet on the ground.”
To reach the Copa del Rey final Athletic must first eliminate Granada in the semifinal second leg next week. Before then, the Lions will host Villarreal at San Mamés on Sunday where they will have another opportunity to finally put an end to the disastrous streak in the league and start looking up the table.