Simeone: No reason to lose focus

Diego Simeone is confident that his Atletico Madrid players will be fully focused on Osasuna this Tuesday and not Real Madrid at the weekend.

Los Colchoneros host Osasuna in Week 6’s midweek round tonight, before travelling across town on Saturday night for Week 7’s derby with Madrid.

However, for the team’s Coach, the mantra of game by game remains in place.

“There is no reason to leave the path that we are on,” commented Simeone pre-match.

“That would spoil the effects of winning against Valladolid away from home. It would not be nice if on Tuesday night we do not follow that up with a good result at home. The way forward is to grow.

“Osasuna? When a new Coach arrives it renews the opportunity for some players. The result they earned the other day has rasied their expectation and ambition.

“They are a team that are dangerous on the wing, with Armenteros and Sisi, fast players. It means that they will drop numbers back to retrieve possession and then look to counter-attack quickly.

“We have to determine the game with a high tempo and look for the intensity that we need so as to continue.”

Simeone was asked of his team plans and how the balance of League and Champions League action is going.

“For the Osasuna match I will be making five rotations,” considered El Cholo.

“It is a new challenge in terms of what the Champions League demands for our involvement. Not that the Europa League is less, but obviously teams that are in the Champions League are better.

“That makes every game you play during the week hard. So the work of the medical staff, technicians and physiotherapists is to try to have the players in the best possible condition to be competitive in the League.

“For the players it is great. They do not want to train, so the more games the better. More rhythm in football, that’s what the players want.

“For the fan, it is not drama to have many games. I think that if your team does well, you want to see more of them.”

It was put to Simeone that tonight’s attendance at the Calderon may be poor.

“There will be a lot of people. The team has been winning a lot of games and this is a good opportunity to come and see them.

“If I put myself in the position of a fan, I would come and see them. In addition, the tickets at the Santiago Bernabeu [for the weekend’s derby] are a little expensive. [Tuesday] we will be more accessible.”

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