Yeray “Our Goal Is To Qualify For Europe”
Six days after returning to training the Athletic first team players are feeling stronger and more eager than ever to resume matches. It will still be a few weeks before games can possibly return so the squad must use this time to get back into the best shape possible before hopefully taking the field against an opponent.
“It’s about getting back to the best feelings and enjoying what we like, which is football,” Yeray told Athletic TV in regards to training. “The truth is that this week is different from what we have become accustomed to over the last two months. After weeks of working alone at home you can only be grateful to see teammates and, although we are doing things differently, training is more fun. It’s a preseason.”
When games do return they will take place behind closed doors. In Yeray’s opinion, not having fans in the stands will level the playing the field for every team.
“Playing games behind closed doors, especially at San Mamés where is will be easier for teams to beat us, will make it easier for us to play. Now that aspect will be equalized and the individual differences of each will have more of an impact. Surely the teams more accustomed to combining La Liga and Europe, playing Wednesday and Sunday, will have more of a psychological advantage. We’ve also had the Cup and then a two-month hiatus. Right now we all have the same possibilities.”
Ultimately, Athletic’s only objective is to finish in the top seven to earn a place in Europe next season. “We have eleven finals left,” Yeray said firmly. “We can do it and we’re going to try. Our goal, just like at the beginning of the season, is to qualify for Europe. It will be difficult, but we can do it.” When the season returns Athletic’s first game back will see the Lions host Atlético Madrid at San Mamés.