Atletico Madrid Coach Diego Simeone has insisted that he is only focused on Saturday’s trip to Malaga in La Liga, not the Champions League next week.
Los Colchoneros have regained their grip on third place in the table thanks to three straight victories and Valencia’s recent draws, but they resume European commitments on Tuesday in the first leg of their quarter-final against Real Madrid.
“What matters is the match against Malaga,” the Coach said at a Press conference.
“I don’t understand how thinking about the [Champions League] derby is more important than doing well at Malaga.
“There are always tough matches at this stage of the season. Malaga have young players with attacking verve and enthusiasm.
“They’re a very competitive team, so we must be very strong and intense. We need to attack with speed and play at our own pace.
“Malaga’s results haven’t been as good away from home, but they’re still very strong, attack well down the wings, are daring and are dangerous between the lines.
“They’ve had significant casualties, but their quality hasn’t diminished. The Coach [Javi Gracia] is very capable.
“They work hard off the ball and are a team who play good football. That’s dangerous for us.
“The game will be difficult, it always is away from home. In this instance it’s even more difficult because our rivals also have needs of their own.
“[Games at this stage of the season] are much more complicated than those in the first round.
“Our next two games are away from home and will be decisive for the remainder of the campaign.
“El Profe [assistant German Burgos] has everything arranged with the club and will stay with me until the day I must leave this club.”