Atletico Madrid Coach Diego Simeone can count on support from Real Valladolid cohort Miroslav Djukic for the risk he took yesterday that backfired.
With Atleti trailing 1-0 in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 32 clash at home to Rubin Kazan, Simeone instructed goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo to go up for a last-minute corner.
Rubin counter-attacked from the corner and scored a potentially decisive second away goal, to leave the Vicente Calderon with a 2-0 win.
“If Asenjo had scored then we would all have applauded El Cholo for his bravery,” Djukic reflected to reporters today.
“Sending Asenjo up is not the only thing to look at. It is true that the defence did not handle the counter-attack well, that was for me the biggest mistake.
“I do not know what decision I would have made in his position.”
Djukic was talking ahead of welcoming Simeone’s team to the Jose Zorilla this Sunday evening. Atleti are without an away win in the League since November.
“They are still a team that has achieved extraordinary things. They are still in second place in the table, still in the Copa del Rey, with a chance in the Europa League.
“A lot of us would like to be in that situation. I know that they arrive at us playing on the Sunday having just played on the Thursday, so we will make sure the game is intense.
“My team will give their all, as they always have, and whether they are playing at home or away.
“We are aware that we face a championship team, who are very good, and we will have to play a great game if we want to win. We have to go out there convinced that we can win the game.”