Iñigo Córdoba “We’re Looking Forward To Competing Again”
Europe is the goal for Athletic. The only goal. With La Liga returning this weekend the Lions will have to finish in the top seven to qualify for Europe and are currently five points off the pace. Athletic will host Atlético Madrid at San Mamés this Sunday with hopes of picking up three points to start climbing the table.
“We have prepared very well for the past month and a half,” Iñigo Córdoba told AthleticTV after training on Thursday. “Everything that’s in our hands we have done: training at home, then in small groups, and now all together. We’re looking forward to competing again, we’re very eager. We’ve done everything in our power to be strong.”
The last time Athletic took the field they defeated Real Valladolid 4-1 at Estadio José Zorrilla. That match took place over three months ago and the players are excited to be back in action this weekend.
“There’s a great desire to start again. The uncertainty that we have, every team has, so there’s no excuse for us. Playing without fans will be strange, but it will be like that for everyone. It will be necessary to adapt and to try to take advantage of situations. There are 33 points at stake and we’re only 5 off the European places. Surely it will be complicated and difficult, but there are options. Europe is our goal.”
Córdoba had a spectacular showing in the win over Valladolid. At the time he had hopes to keep his place in the starting lineup and will fight for it again now.
“I ended up playing and my intention is to finish the season by playing, improving, and making myself important for the team. Like everyone, I have prepared to have a place in the team.”
As part of the measures to finish the season, coaches will be allowed five substitutions each game. “Having more changes will be good because with games so close together more players will be involved,” said Córdoba. “We will all be plugged in, the whole group, and we will surely compete well.” As Athletic prepare to play four games in ten days Gaizka Garitano will need everyone to contribute in the fight for Europe.