Gaizka Garitano “It was good to see the young players in action and see what they can give”
Athletic’s preseason got off to a frustrating start on Saturday. With 11 first team players unavailable the Lions fell 3-1 on the road to Logroñés in what was a poor performance at Las Gaunas.
“In the end this game has been one more training session,” Gaizka Garitano said after the match. The manager didn’t want to linger on the result, but praised the young players who benefitted from the opportunity to have valuable minutes.
“It was a game that had a lot of pace and we played with many young players. It was good to see them in action and see what they can give. The important thing is that there were no injuries so we will rest tomorrow and return to work at Lezama on Monday.”
Jokin Ezkieta was the only player to not see the field as Garitano made ten changes at halftime. The manager was cautious to balance minutes for everyone.
“The plan was for 21 players to play. Yesterday we trained hard, both in the morning and the afternoon, so it was a game in which we thought 45 minutes per player would be enough since they had a heavy workload on their legs.”
Despite the disappointing result, Garitano once again emphasized the health of the squad. “I reiterate that it’s important that there were no injuries. Now we will rest and go back to work because we have two weeks left to adjust everything for the start of La Liga. Let’s see if we will start recovering players who have been out.”
When Athletic return to training on Monday Iñaki Williams, Iñigo Córdoba, Unai López, and Unai Núñez will be reincorporated into the squad. The team will then be back in action on Wednesday when Alavés visit Lezama for a friendly match.