Gaizka Garitano “I Don’t Think The Team’s Image Was Bad At All”
Athletic’s season started the same way the previous one ended, with a disappointing defeat at Los Cármenes. Despite a strong start to the game, the Lions conceded twice within minutes after the break. Losing 2-0 to Granada showed Athletic still have issues to improve with a challenging year ahead.
“We just lost the last two games and we need a boost of optimism,” Gaizka Garitano said after the match. “Now we have 17 days without playing. We need to train more, but it’s true that it’s a long time without playing. During breaks like these the negative things are usually talked about.”
Ultimately, the result came down to a few minutes early in the second half. Mistakes led to goals for Granada and Garitano emphasized the importance of not having those mental lapses. Struggling to finish chances also cost Athletic.
“We have to stay focused for 90 minutes. There are many teams that have more punch than us and they scored against us because of a mistake. We talked about being attentive during games, but in a bad 10 minutes they scored both goals. You need 90 minutes of defensive perfection to get something.We attacked with many players in the box, but weren’t able to finish because they have very good defenders. They had two shots on goal and goalkeeper didn’t touch the ball. These are the things that count.”
Aside from the disappointing result, Jon Morcillo made his first team debut. Oihan Sancet, Asier Villalibre, and Unai Vencedor also came on in the second half and impacted the game.
“Morcillo played a great game. I think the level of the team as a whole was also good. It’s not that we brought on young players, it’s that we have young players in the squad who can contribute. In the mix of everything we have to keep the good things. I don’t think the team’s image was bad at all.”
With two weeks until the trip to Eibar the team has plenty of time to work on problem areas. Gaizka Garitano will essentially have another break to prepare the team for an important stretch of games on the horizon.