Diego Simeone had words of praise and explanation for Diego Costa and Raul Garcia, as he reminded Atletico Madrid there is work still to do.
Los Colchoneros are in a commanding position in Group G of the Champions League thanks to Tuesday evening’s 3-0 win at Austria Vienna, courtesy of Raul Garcia’s opener and a double from Diego Costa.
“It was a very good first half from us in how we interpreted the way we had to control the game and its rhythm,” considered Simeone after the match, which has left them five points clear at the top of their group.
“Positioning Raul Garcia behind Diego Costa gave us a lot. The coach has a choice that is based on every day with the players.
“We are with them every day, we know quite well the characteristics of each one and realized it was a very good match for the characteristics of Raul, who came from second line very well and he had a fantastic game, his performance was extraordinary.
“Our full-backs were also excellent. We cannot play 21, you have to play 10 and the Coach has to find the best combination, and that's what we do, find the best variants for each game.”
Diego Costa marked his Champions League debut with two goals, appearing despite doubts over an ankle knock.
“Diego Costa was unbelievable today, he had an excellent game, scored two goals and showed how important he is for the team.
“The truth is that he was a bit hurt after Saturday's game. The medical team and physios did a very good and we expected him to be okay.
“He did some tests in the morning at the hotel to see how it felt, the doctors gave him the all clear and he really put in a huge performance, working for the team.
“Raul Garcia also gave a fantastic performance, but I would like to praise the team as a whole. The whole team were compact and played well, with some nice attacks and goals.”
Simeone reflected on Atleti’s continued 100 per cent start to life back in the Champions League.
“We cannot afford to move away from this game-by-game mentality. We know the difficulties we will face in the Champions League and La Liga.
“We have nine points from three games, we are on a good run in the League and in the Champions League, but we cannot fall asleep.
“We have to take it game by game and do our best to continue like this. We are going very well at the moment.
“I really appreciate and value the work the guys are doing, it is great. They are putting in a lot of effort, a lot of commitment and a lot of teamwork and that allows us to be competitive and we're a tough team.”