Diego Simeone hinted tiredness was behind his decision to substitute Antoine Griezmann during Atletico Madrid’s goalless draw with Leganes on Saturday.
Griezmann lasted just 67 minutes at Butarque as he was replaced by full-back Sime Vrsajlko, leaving the Frenchman with just three goals for Atleti this season.
“Why didn’t I play Gameiro? I read the game in a certain way,” the Coach said after the game.
“We were able to hurt them in the first few minutes, but they defended by grouping together.
“In the second half, the further you’re into a game, the more dragged-out it becomes.
“There’s a fine line between winning and losing, and you could notice the weariness of Wednesday’s game [in our performance]. That’s why we made changes.
“It ended up being a game of pushing, without chances and with them forcing Oblak into good saves on the counterattack.
“Saul almost as a full-back? The first half was the match we wanted, controlling the midfield with Gabi, Thomas and Koke.
“I think the first half was pretty good, especially the first 20-25 minutes. Then came a team that put in great effort.
“We’ve picked up a point that, we know, is too few, but we’ll have to keep working.
“What’s wrong with Griezmann? He is a player that spoils us because he’s always solved problems for us. When he doesn’t score, it becomes more difficult for us.
“Hopefully the other strikers can help him get closer to goal and do more in that regard.
“Leganes better in some parts? We had them under control at the start, but they caught us out in the second half after some slip-ups.
“We had a great header that could’ve got us closer to winning. The teamweren’t clear-headed enough in making chances.
“The lads have been playing since representing their national teams. We’ve been trying to balance their efforts.
“They’re human beings, lads that have to work by running. It’s not easy to respond at 100 percent.
“I’m happy with the team, they’ve fought despite the difficulties. We started all our games away from home, including in the Champions League.
“We’ve also been playing at a home stadium that’s different to the one we know, but I think we’re fine.”