Mendilibar: A year of suffering

Jose Luis Mendilibar has looked back on Osasuna’s season, reflected on their competitive end against Real Madrid and confirmed a contract offer.

The Pamplona side only made sure of their League status for another year last week with a win over Sevilla, and rounded out a season that has predominantly been a relegation battle with a 4-2 defeat at Madrid on Saturday evening.

“It has been a year of suffering. It began badly, with a very poor first round of fixtures, we began the second half of the season better and then we had a slump that hit our response,” reflected Mendilibar after today’s game.

“We have been fighting until the final moments. We have done our part, out of the six teams trying to avoid relegation. We have suffered, but I think this club is known to fight every year.

“Today? We were able to pull level and we also had chances to take the lead early in the game against a relaxed Real Madrid.

“We participated with the ball and we had the ability to finish, but we lacked the success in front of goal.

“We went into this game relaxed after achieving survival last weekend, and things went pretty well.”

The Coach complained in his pre-match Press conference earlier in the week that he felt underappreciated by the media this season, in response to speculation that he would be leaving in the summer.

“I have the contract offer, I’m relaxed. The season ended today, I do not think there will be much delay in closing an agreement.”

Today’s game saw veteran goalkeeper Ricardo bow out from the game, having come out of retirement midseason to help Osasuna’s injury crisis between the sticks.

“Ricardo is an exceptional player, a very good goalkeeper, we have had the chance of spending some more time with him when it seemed he had retired.

“Today he was able to say goodbye in the area, we wanted to give him that opportunity, he will forever be in our heart.”

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