Diego Simeone refused to criticise Atletico Madrid for their 3-0 loss at Athletic Bilbao, or blame it on the number of changes made.
The Argentine Coach saw a much-changed starting line-up fall to a convincing defeat in the Basque Country on Sunday night.
“We knew of the difficulty we would face with Athletic,” reflected Simeone afterwards.
“Both teams generated chances, but after their second goal they felt more comfortable and finished the game well. They deservedly won.
“The changes made? The previous match with Betis in the Copa and against Levante in La Liga we made five changes, and we again made so many to give freshness to the team. They responded very well to the first goal.
“Will it affect the Cup semi-final in midweek? No.”
Curiously, the team are without a win away from home now in all competitions since mid-November.
“I am not worried. I think it would be good to improve upon the numbers we have because then we would be top. So for that we need to improve.
“The players delivered a good attitude, they showed their face. Again the first half was an exciting game and both were looking for the goal.
“We did not get it and set-piece situations changed the game. The opponent was better, congratulations to Athletic.”