Sestao River-Athletic | Mars 21:00 hours
The Sestao River coach feels before the most important game of his career and regrets the fact of having only three days to spare since his last commitment
Aitor Calle feels before “the most important match of my entire sports career”, seeing himself on the bench opposite Athletic. However, it affects the short time they have had to prepare this clash and it is that only three days have passed since they drew 0-0 against Beasain. “We will try to make up for it with great enthusiasm and the great desire that we have,” he highlights. The coach hopes to “live one of those unique moments that other humble teams have already experienced in this competition”, giving the bell and passing the round. They only think about winning. That happens because of “doing things perfectly and Athletic not showing its full potential,” he points out.
-How does Sestao River arrive at this cup tie?
With great enthusiasm, but with very little time to prepare for the game. We play on Saturday afternoon and we have been able to train one day, but we will try to make up for it with the great enthusiasm and desire that we have.
-Does it matter more or less than a league game?
Exactly the same. Our goal is always to win, regardless of the rival, the field and the competition. Also, until January 8 we don’t play again so we don’t have any interference, in that sense. It has squared badly due to the closeness of two games, but it is the last game of the year and we are very focused on it. We do not have to save anything and we will face it with all possible guarantees.
-Did playing against Athletic three days later influence your approach to the match last Saturday against Beasain?
Absolutely nothing. Our priority at that moment was to beat Beasain, without thinking about anything beyond.
-Being from Bilbao, what does it mean for you personally to live a match against Athletic from the bench?
It’s the most important game of my entire sporting career, but I’m angry at having had so little time to prepare for such a beautiful challenge. I would have liked to dedicate more time to a match that demands so much, to have talked about certain things and to have worked on more aspects. I’m sorry to have prepared a game of this caliber in just two days, but it is what it is.
-Meet Sestao River both as a player and as a coach. How will an appointment of this depth be lived there?
All of us who are part of the Sestao River family have in our DNA trying to win every game. If you extrapolate that to the Copa del Rey, we have the illusion of experiencing one of those unique moments that other humble teams have already experienced in this competition. We are aware of the difficulty it has, but we will try to enjoy the occasion and give our best version.
-Sestao River is an offensive team that presses very high… Will you change your style in order to further strengthen the defensive aspect?
I don’t think we have to change anything, or do anything different. Less, with so little preparation time. We must be true to ourselves, applying the nuances that the rival requires, like every weekend. We will try to play the match that suits us best and the one that suits Athletic the least, which will entail many differences with some league matches, but staying true to our style.
-Is the objective to enjoy the occasion or pass the tie?
Our goal is to win every game. It is our DNA, our philosophy and the mentality that we want to implement in the team. We have every right in the world to dream, to be excited and to try to move it forward. We have nothing to lose.
– Do they trust their options to give the bell?
Athletic is the great favourite, but this is a game and there is a percentage of options that we go through. We cling to those possibilities. From my position, I perceive that the fans are very excited and that they trust us. It is a good opportunity to show the best of us. All our chances go through doing things perfectly and Athletic not showing their full potential.