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La Liga

Garitano determined to keep the Eibar dream alive in La Liga

SD Eibar, Ipurua

The modest Basque club are hovering just above the relegation zone, but their manager insists the team will battle hard to stay in the Spanish top-flight.

The remarkable journey of Eibar, from the Spanish third-tier and to the top-flight of La Liga in consecutive seasons, captured the imagination of football fans around the world. Especially when they were almost denied the prize they'd earned on the pitch, and needed to raise funds to ensure they met financial requirements.

The funds were raised thanks to an impressive and successful campaign, which received support from people all over the globe, who bought shares in the modest Basque club, enabling them to achieve their dream.

At the start of the campaign, Eibar blazed a trail and surprised many of their illustrious rivals. However, the second half of the season has proven very difficult and subsequently, the team has slipped perilously close to the relegation zone.

Heading into the final three games of the season, it's make or break for Eibar, who sit one position and just one point, above the bottom three.

Ahead of Friday's crucial encounter with Espanyol, via the official club website, Eibar manager Gaizka Garitano underlined: "We're enthusiastic. Staying in the Primera is a reward and that's how we must face our next game. It's in our own hands. We're depending on ourselves and that's our reward."

Conscious that Espanyol are particularly difficult opponents, Garitano assured their visit to Ipurua will be far from easy, explaining that for Eibar to win: "We must show more heart, more order, more concentration, more enthusiasm, more ambition, run more, close down more and be more intense, amongst other things."

As for any nervousness amongst his players, given their tricky league position, Garitano simply noted: "It's one football match; the world doesn't end here. We have to stay calm, to face this game with utmost determination and tranquility."

Calling on fans to be in full voice, Garitano concluded: "They are the most reliable asset we have, and we'll need their support."

On the back of five straight defeats, the odds don't favour Eibar, however, three points against Espanyol will go a long way towards restoring confidence. In their final two games, the Basque side face winnable games against away at Getafe, followed by a home encounter with already relegated Cordoba.

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