Diego Simeone believes the chance to finish top of the group will give Atletico Madrid the ‘voltage’ needed to beat Viktoria Plzen.
Simeone and his players are in the Czech Republic to contest their final fixture in Europa League Group B. Currently top with 12 points accrued, all Atleti have to do tomorrow night is avoid defeat against Plzen – currently second with ten points – to qualify as group winners.
“Being first is better than being second,” the Argentine began at his Press briefing. “We’re preparing to face the game in the best way. They’re a tough opponent, hard and fast, a menace. But that should give us the voltage needed to win the game.”
Simeone’s response was curt when asked if his players had recovered from Saturday’s 2-0 derby defeat to Real Madrid.
“The team is well.”
‘El Cholo’ then expanded upon the reasoning behind his resting of so many players in the Europa League thus far this season.
“First of all, we’re trying to be competitive in three tournaments. Apart from [Thibaut] Courtois, [Radamel] Falcao and Arda [Turan], almost everyone has played in the Europa League. It helps the group if we can pass objectives together, and when everyone gets minutes the Coach can see how to address the remaining games.”
Finally, Simeone was asked about club President Enrique Cerezo’s light hearted claim that he did not know who Jose Mourinho was.
“I don’t get a say on what others say. I get to say only what I think.”