Diego Simeone believes people are ‘waiting for Atletico Madrid to fail’ and that provides sufficient motivation for him and his players.
Los Rojiblancos are set to finish the season trophyless – they exited the Champions League at the Round of 16 and lie nine points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona.
“There are people who are waiting for us to fail, and we are going to work to prove those people wrong,” Simeone told an interview with Gol.
“Atletico Madrid have only been second (in La Liga) nine times across their history – nine! That shows its not so easy, but we finished second last year and we’re second at the moment.
“Can we improve? Of course we invite everyone to demand more of us but the reality we should be finishing third, below that is underperforming and above that is overperformance.
“It is not impossible for Atleti to be champions but that would be double the achievement and we must focus on not decaying.
“Diego Costa? He is an animal, I'm not one of the Coaches that from an incident to generate negative feelings, I value everything and with Costa there is more positive than negative.”