Athletic Club defeated Basque rivals SD Eibar 1-2 in Ipurua to pick up their first LaLiga Santander win of the season, and coach Gaizka Garitano was especially pleased with how his side reacted in the second half.
“It was a very close game,” the Athletic Club boss said in his post-match press conference. “In the first half we did what we set out to do, which was to play in their half, and that helped us a lot.
“In the second half we suffered more, but from their goal onwards the team reacted well and we went for the win. The team read the game well in every moment.”
The subsitutes played a very important role in the win and the boss was quick to praise their contribution.
Asier Villalibre played particulary well when he came on, playing a part in Iñaki Williams’ disallowed goal and fellow sub Iñigo Córdoba came close to getting a third goal in the final moments.
“There are players that come off the bench and change the game,” Garitano said. “They’re all necessary and today they showed that in the second half.”
The manager is already looking ahead to Athletic’s San Mamés homecoming fixture against newly promoted Cádiz CF.
“It’s good to win, but we need to keep working hard all the same,” he added. “We’ve only played two LaLiga games and there’s a lot of work left to do.
“We have a winning mentality and we’re going to go for it against Cádiz.”