Daniel Vivian spoke to the media on Tuesday morning - two days after the game against Girona FC and three days before the fixture against Rayo Vallecano at San Mames
Athletic centre-back Dani Vivian stressed that the hard-fought 1-1 draw against Girona FC "was not a coincidence, but something fitting with the team's form", giving a positive assessment of Monday's game at Montilivi.
A Viktor Tsygankov goal put the hosts ahead in the 55th minute, but Athletic responded just over 10 minutes later through Iñaki Williams.
"We're happy. We know the work we're doing to get these points," Vivian said at his press conference ahead of our clash with Rayo Vallecano at San Mames on Saturday afternoon (16:15 CET).
"One of the most positive things is we all feel we're competing from the first minute to the last. There's not a moment when the team is not at the level the match requires. We're very good physically and football-wise.
"The match against Girona FC was not a coincidence, but something we worked hard for against a very good opponent who knew what they were doing and made it very difficult for us."
As for the match against Rayo Vallecano, Vivian, the player with the most minutes accumulated this season, is aware how important it is for Los Leones.
He added: "Every game has its difficulty. Saturday's game is very important for us. Rayo have only conceded three goals away from home, they've drawn with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu and only lost to Real Betis.
"We have to show that we want to stay in the top positions and for that we have to win this game. We're expecting an intense game, against a team that knows how to draw you in and then stretch you out."
Finally, the centre-back took the opportunity to send a message of hope to the Athleticzales.
"In the dressing room, we've got positive people who think about the present. If we look at the past, it is only to learn from our mistakes. We are excited and we feel that in the stands too. We're strong, with desire and enthusiasm.
"I feel the team is strong and has convinction, playing with a clear identity. This is what we try to show day after day, training session after training session and match after match. There is no more important strength than the unity of the group."