Diego Simeone has reiterated that Fernando Torres will soon rediscover his scoring touch, despite firing blanks once more against Reus on Thursday.
Los Colchoneros set up a Copa del Rey last-16 date with Rayo Vallecano after they defeated the Segunda B side 3-1 on aggregate, but the striker remains without a goal since September and one away from his 100th in the club’s colours.
When asked about Torres, who on Thursday started and had at least four good chances to have again set , something not achieved since September 19 against Eibar.
“I’m happy with [Torres’] work,” he said after the second leg at the Vicente Calderon.
“He trains well and gets involved with both the team and the club. [The goal] will come.
“The goal is a consequence, and it’s important that he’s finding the right positions and getting chances.
“Thomas [Partey] continues to grow. He is still a young lad but has strength, movement and can play between the lines.
“He’s in the process of becoming a top player and I hope I can help him with what he needs to grow.
“The lads are responding well [Tiago Mendes’ injury], especially Saul [Niguez], but his absence is still significant.
“[On interest in Augusto Fernandez], I only speak of my players. The sports management are there to seek the best players for the team.
“It’s not been easy [for Jackson Martinez, who continues to recover from a hamstring injury], but he’d been struggling with [his hamstring] ever since he arrived.
“We’re relying heavily on a player who’s recovering from an injury, but he’s not experiencing any discomfort so that means [his fitness] improving.
“He’ll continue to work with people at the club [during the Christmas break]. If all goes accordingly, he’ll be back for Rayo [on December 30].
“[Luciano] Vietto is already involved, Oliver [Torres] is another doing well, [Stefan] Savic joined to compete for a starting place, Filipe [Luis] has been an important player again and [Yannick] Carrasco gives us a lot of verticality.
“[Angel] Correa started very well and is at a point where he needs to improve.
“It’s normal [that the new boys are still adapting], I think their progression has been very good.”