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Athletic club Bilbao extendsdeal of coach Garitano
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Athletic club Bilbao extendsdeal of coach Garitano

Agency News

Madrid, Apr 4: Athletic Club Bilbao on Thursday confirmed that they had extended the contract of first team coach Gaizka Garitano until the end of June 2020.

The new contract is a reward for the excellent job the former player has done in lifting the Basque side from third from bottom of the Liga Santander to eighth place in the league with a serious option of playing in Europe next season.

Garitano was promoted from the Athletic B-team in early December after a 3-0 defeat away to Levante led to Eduardo Berizzo (who began the season in charge) being sacked with Athletic having taken just 11 points from their first 14 matches.

Since then they have recovered to take 32 points from the following 16 matches, with Wednesday's dramatic 3-2 win at home to Levante meaning that nine of those points have come from the past three games and that Athletic are now just four points behind fourth place Getafe, who they play on Sunday.

Garitano has given more first team minutes to midfielder Dani Garcia and defender Ander Capa and has focused on making his team very hard to score against. His assistant coach Patxi Ferreira, goalkeeping coach Ander Iru and fitness trainer Juan Angel Iribarren have also had their contracts extended.