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Ready to step up for Bilbao this season: Dani Garcia

Thursday - September 12, 2019 10:28 pm , Category : SPORTS
Kolkata, Sep 12 (IANS) Athletic Bilbao midfielder Dani Garcia is ready to move to the next level this season and is confident that with team manager Gaizka Garitano in charge, he can only get better.

Garcia joined Bilbao from Eibar in June last year to help the club finish seventh in the previous season.
Speaking to IANS, the 29-year-old said that he spent a year with Bilbao and learnt so much that he was now ready to deliver in his second year.
"Last year everything was new for me. I think I've had a year to learn at Athletic and have to step it up a level compared to last year. I didn't at Eibar, and now I hope I can do it here.
"I'm an ambitious guy and I think it's important to show ambition in life. But you also have to realise that La Liga is a long haul and if you make a positive start, you'll set yourself different goals than if you start like we did last year," he said.
Asked about manager Garitano who took over from Eduardo Berizzo last December and guided the side to the seventh place, Garcia, who played under him previously at Eibar, said: "I think what makes it special is the confidence he has to tell me things and vice versa. If he had to put his faith in other players, I don't think there would be a problem.
"He's putting his faith in me. I'm very grateful and trying to pay him back with hard work. Also, I think Gaizka is, in his own words, a defensive coach. He likes order. I think that order is good for us. We want to use a high press too and see if we can do it for 90 minutes and not just 45 or 60," he said.
Garcia said Bilbao have the best defence in the league.
"I think that defensive organisation has been the key. We have one of the best defences in the top flight, with some top-class centre-backs. We need to make the most of that. When we keep a clean sheet, we get really good results. We know we struggled away from home last year. Let's see if we can turn that around this year," Garcia said.
Bilabo are unbeaten in the league so far after a 2-0 victory over Real Sociedad two weeks ago and are placed second in the points table. They take on Mallorca next, who got off to a perfect start with a home success over Eibar, but have since fallen to defeats against Real Sociedad and Valencia.
"I'm thrilled with the people I share the dressing room with. Also with the teammates who have come from Segunda B and Segunda to the First Division... there's a continuity. Morales, Jota, who's at Aston Villa, Raul Navas, Lillo... there are lots of us players from that year who have pushed our way into the top flight and you can see that the promotion was no fluke," Garcia said about his teammates.
Quizzed about a dream which is yet to come true for him in football, Garcia said: "Playing in Europe. Last year was a huge blow, because I'm one of the players in this dressing room who hasn't played in Europe and I'm really eager to."
Bilbao missed out on the Europa League on goal difference last term. They had a disastrous start to the season last time and hovered around the relegation zone and looked in real danger of going down for the first time in their history.
"And it's not just Europe. If we reach the final of the Copa del Rey, it would be a dream come true for me. We're going to fight for it," said Garcia.

--IANS dm/arm

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