Simeone welcomes Atleti criticism

Diego Simeone welcomes criticism of his Atletico Madrid team, saying that it acts as a source of motivation for him.

The Rojiblancos head into today's match with Athletic Bilbao on the back of three consecutive LaLiga wins, but they still trail League leaders Real Madrid by nine points due to an inconsistent first half of the season.

"We always imagine the best, but what is true is we have been inconsistent and we need to be consistent in a competition that requires it," Simeone admitted of his side, who are currently fourth.

"Since five years ago we have understood that the most important match is the next one, the Athletic one. We will line-up with the players we think should play.

"When I see critics, it motivates me because I understand we can do more. I like it.

"Hopefully we are consistently in this situation. But we have to focus on Athletic, a very difficult opponent who are very strong at home."

Simeone then discussed today's visit to San Mames, which he acknowledges will be a tough assignment despite his excellent record there as Atleti Coach.

"There are teams who have a very refined way of playing, they compete very intensely. Whoever has played at Athletic, that has always been the case and I don't think it will be different.

"The opponents have 11 players who wear shorts, shirts, boots and want to win matches. We have always suffered [at Athletic], I don't remember a year we won comfortably.

"The year we won the League we won a lot of matches 1-0 with Courtois, Moya or Oblak making good saves. The opponents always create chances."

Tags Athletic Bilabo Diego Simeone