Athletic Club manager Gaizka Garitano said going toe to toe with Real Madrid at Valdebebas on Tuesday night (kick-off, 22:00 CET) and showing the world what Athletic are capable of is “extra motivation” for his side.
Reigning LaLiga Santander champions Real Madrid have hit a patch of good form, they’re coming off the back of a derby win and have not lost in three. Nonetheless, Garitano is certain Athletic can “get a good result”.
“Probably they [Real Madrid] are the best they’ve been all season,” Garitano said at his pre-match press conference. “And for us, taking on a such a good team, who are playing so well, is extra motivation.
“We’re desperate to do well, we’re a good team and we want to show that against a great rival.”
Athletic have not lost in their last two matches outside of Bilbao, picking up draws over Getafe and Valencia.
“We put in a couple of good performances in Getafe and Valencia,” Garitano pointed out. “We’re were closing to winning both and we want to carry that momentum forward into Valdebebas.
“We’ve done well down there before. We know that we’ll have chances and we’ll try to take advantage of them.”
Despite the lions facing a hectic festive schedule, Garitano explained that Athletic will take it one game at a time, adding: “We’re not looking beyond the next match. There are players who might pick up knocks or will need to be rested.
“But when tomorrow’s match is over, then we’ll start thinking about the next one. Every match is winnable, you never know where the points will come from. Tomorrow we’ll be going all out to win in Madrid.
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