Mikel Vesga “Playing Behind Closed Doors Is Bad For Us, It’s Going To Be Weird”

Mikel Vesga Training

Mikel Vesga admits it will be strange to play a match at an empty San Mamés (EC)

La Liga’s decision to play at least the next two weeks of fixtures behind closed doors has been met with frustration from both clubs and fans. Although the need to prevent large gatherings is necessary due to increasing concerns over the Covid-19 outbreak, many would prefer that the games be postponed to later dates. Suspending matches is still a possibility at this point, but for now Athletic are set to host Atlético Madrid at San Mamés on Sunday without fans in attendance.

Following the league’s announcement, Athletic has closed Lezama to the public which means that neither fans nor reporters can visit the training facility. This also means that players and manager Gaizka Garitano will not be holding press conferences in the buildup to Sunday’s match. However, midfielder Mikel Vesga did speak with AthleticTV on Wednesday where he shared his thoughts on the upcoming fixture.

“Playing behind closed doors is bad for us because playing at San Mamés with our fans and feeling their support is what we like,” said Vesga. “It’s going to be weird but we’re going to do everything possible so that we can achieve a good result while playing with this adversity. The league has always been our first goal, but as the season has progressed we have reached where we are in the Cup. We would like to continue with the good run we’ve had after a beautiful week and keep the three points at San Mamés.”

Even with fans in attendance it’s never easy to get a good result against Atlético Madrid and Vesga says athletic must be at their best. “They are a very complicated opponents. It’s always difficult to score a goal against them because they have a very strong defensive group with a lot of quality players. We will have to be very good and we will work hard to prepare over these coming days.”

If the outbreak continues to worsen between now and Friday the league will consider postponing matches. Until then, Athletic will be preparing to play one of the biggest games of the season on Sunday at a silent and empty San Mamés.

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