Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke has insisted the squad are ‘excited’ by the prospect of winning the Europa League this season.
The 26-year-old rejected claims that the competition was a distraction after the disappointment of early elimination from the Champions League.
“We all have a strong desire to win a trophy this year, as a footballer this is what you always want,” Koke told a pre-match press conference.
“This is the time of the season that really counts and that is what excites us, we are ready and everything starts here.
“We have a difficult opponent in Lokomotiv but we are used to tough opponents due to our recent history in the Champions League, and we have equal enthusiasm now.
“Our only thoughts are on this game and nothing beyond it, either in the Europa League or La Liga, our full focus is on qualifying for the next round.
“My own form? I’m feeling good, I’ve steered clear of injuries and have more regularity in playing time.”