Diego Simeone says Atletico Madrid must only “win, win, win” until the end of the season after Sunday’s 3-0 win against Granada in La Liga.
Goals from Koke, Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres secured a seventh win in eight League games for Atleti, who also equalled Barcelona at the summit, having been 10 points behind the Catalans only a month ago.
“We’re very happy to have reached the club’s objective, to be in the Champions League next season,” the Coach said after the game.
“Even though it’s gone a little unnoticed, it’s still a great joy.
“[Koke] is an extraordinary player. As we said in the preseason, the more he comes inside, the more damage he does.
“He looks better and exploits the movement of the frontmen. We took him off, as we did Antoine, in view of [the midweek game at] San Mames.
“There’s the possibility of having an important game in Bilbao and continuing to compete in the four matches after that.
“Winning them all will be difficult, but we’ll do what the calendar demands ask of us – win, win, win.
“After our first goal, the team didn’t play well. Granada had chances on the counterattack from their right-hand side and we couldn’t get into the game.
“We then spoke in the dressing room [at half-time] and we improved after the restart and showed good mental strength.
“What Lucas [Hernandez] is experiencing is an incentive for the lads who are seeing less minutes.
“It’s not easy [for them] and this is my responsibility. They’re working well, but so are the [starting line-up].
“Still, they can be decisive in La Liga and Champions League at any minute, so they have to be prepared.
“[On Fernando Torres], he improved in the second half, as did the team.
“[On Lucas], football is unpredictable and you never know when the finger points at you.”