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Athletic Club coach Ziganda asks fans to not give up hope

Following their ninth defeat this season at the hands of a 2-0 loss to Sevilla, Athletic Club coach Jose Angel Ziganda says he left the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, “frustrated with everything”.

Two goals in the space of five minutes led to their downfall and with no sense of urgency in their play nor creativity, the Basque club seemed to submit early to their defeat.

Athletic still find themselves in mid-table and without a win in their last two, they will need to come out of this slump sooner rather than later.

Ziganda appeared to be preoccupied with their first leg Europa League last 16 tie against Marseille on Thursday as he rested key players Raul Garcia, Aritz Aduriz, and Benat Etxebarria. His weakened side failed to make any impression on the match.

“Today it’s time to point out what has happened so as not to repeat it,” Ziganda said after the game.

“Knowing that sometimes these things happen in football, I do not lose hope.”

Speaking about the reasons as to why he made so many changes, the Spanish retired footballer explained the dilemma he faced before the match.

“I was looking, on the one hand, to refresh the team, we came from a streak of playing every three days, which implies a risk of injury and the legs do not go the same and, on the other, face the powerful midfield of Sevilla.”

However despite the defeat, the former Bilbao player sent a message to the fans asking them not to lose hope on this team and that come Thursday evening against Marseille, they will give their best.

“I know that this team has more and we will give their all,” he urged.

“Starting on Thursday, in the second round of the Europa League against Olympique de Marseille, it’s a very exciting tie for us, it took us a lot of effort to get there, moments when we sacrificed other things, but there we are and we’re going to fight as God commands.”

Athletic will now start preparations for their trip to Marseille while their next clash in La Liga sees them come up against 12th place Leganes.

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