Óscar De Marcos “I Think A Point Would Have Been Deserved”
Óscar De Marcos made his return to the starting lineup on Tuesday night for the first time since early October. The 31-year-old underwent ankle surgery back in December and played the entire game as Athletic fell 1-0 to Barcelona at Camp Nou. Despite the final result, Athletic’s performance was above reproach and De Marcos wants to focus on the positive.
“The team was very good, especially in the first half,” he told reporters after the game. “I think a point would have been deserved for the effort and the performance we had. It’s a complicated field and we never lowered our heads. The defeat is a shame, but we have to think about all the good things we did and repeat them on Saturday.”
De Marcos went on to explain that Athletic executed their game plan perfectly. Unfortunately, they were unable to score a goal and returned home empty-handed.
“Against Barcelona you have to have the game tactically well worked out. They are a difficult team to defend against but I don’t think they have many clear chances. It’s what we wanted, to have our chances and take advantage of them, but it couldn’t be. It’s a shame. Our game plan worked well and that is what we have to take away from this.”
Following surgery and a lengthy recovery period, De Marcos was excited to be back in the lineup. “I’m very happy to have returned to help the team,” he said. “Playing the whole game was good for me. I felt it was positive and strong.”
Athletic will now begin preparing for Saturday’s match against Mallorca at San Mamés. The Lions sit five points off of Europe and will have to win several games to stay in the fight for a top seven finish.
“Europe is complicated because of the distance in points. It’s a difficult gap to cut down, but other years the difference has been greater. The team is in a very good dynamic. We have to think that we can get there, that must be the mentality.”
Gaizka Garitano’s decision to rest several key players against Barcelona should put the team in a great place ahead of Saturday’s clash with Mallorca. It will be a good opportunity to add three points and nothing short of a victory will be acceptable. Every game from this point on will be a final.