‘Barca second half Atleti’s blueprint’

Diego Simeone believes Atletico Madrid’s second-half performance against Barcelona midweek must serve as their blueprint for the rest of the season.

Atleti extended their winless run to four games on Wednesday when they lost 2-1 to Barca in the Copa del Rey semi-finals, but their display after the break was much improved and Simeone took solace from what he saw.

“Lucas Hernandez? Really, I don’t have any official information on what’s happened,” the Coach said at a Press conference for Saturday’s visit of Leganes in La Liga.

“It would be rash of me to give an opinion on something that I don’t have information about.

“I’ve read and heard the unofficial information, and that’s where we are. I can’t comment on much more of this.

“Cerci? He’s been working with us for some time, striving and looking to improve.

“Like everyone else, the moment I see him with the right conditions, he’ll be taken into account.

“Leganes? They work well, can play in various ways, have pace going forward, are competing and have chances in every game.

“Still, we hope to continue in the line of our second half from the other night.

“Lack of goals from our forwards? I hope their numbers change. I’m always optimistic and [Saturday] is a good day for the lads to score and regain their confidence.

“That game was a very clear example of our season so far, with two faces.

“We hope to find ourselves more assiduously with spells of intensity, courage, battles won, overcoming the early pressure of our opponents and attacking moves to give our midfielders possibilities.

“We’re always talking about the club’s objectives, which are to qualify for the Champions League in third place.

“Sevilla and Barcelona are competing well and our way forward is to play like we did in the second half [against Barca]. That consistency [in our performances] will make us feelmore comfortable.

“Torres starter? We’re thinking about putting him, Griezmann, Correa and Gameiro in… They can all play.”

Tags Diego Simeone