Diego Simeone admits La Liga is “everything” to Atletico Madrid as they look to replicate their Champions League form domestically.
Atleti head into their match against Osasuna on Sunday on the back of a clean sweep in their Champions League group and qualification for the last 16, yet their League form reads three defeats in their last four games.
“Winning again and the way the game went the other day are good signs for the team and match that that lies ahead, against a team with needs and a Coach that I respect a lot,” he said at a Press conference.
“He’s always shown, in the teams that he’s managed, the energy he has and he’ll certainly transmit it to his new team.
“We’re ready for a match of high intensity and their direct game, in which they’ll try to exploit the aerial strength of Riera. We’ll try to take the match to where it suits us best.”
“Prioritising the Champions League? We’ve treated all competitions with the same enthusiasm.
“The Copa del Rey has always been very beautiful in the club’s history and the Champions League is a new and exhilarating feeling, for having reached the last 16 so many times, but I’ve always said that for the club and fans, the League is everything.
“It’s reflected every Sunday and in the table, and it’s spoken about every day.
“For the fans, it’s important to see who’s fifth [or] seventh. In shorter competitions, it’s different, beyond what I already appreciate about the Copa and Champions League.
“Lucas Hernandez in Filipe Luis’ absence? Lucas allows us to have a more defensive player on the left, which will allow us to play with more attackers through the middle. We’ll see in the last few hours.
“Training in the gym due to the rain? We come into the game from an important one on Wednesday and we understand that it’s worth doing reactive work in the gym.
“Griezmann? Everything that he proposes, he does from his enthusiasm, and he’s doing well because he’s a huge talent.
“Death of Fidel Castro? I have great respect for him. Condolences to all his family.”