Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone calls for mental strength in La Liga title run in

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone claims mental strength will key in deciding who emerges as La Liga champion this season.

Los Rojiblancos suffered a real blow in their quest to clinch a first league title since 2014 as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat away at Athletic Bilbao just hours after Barcelona won 2-1 at Villarreal.

Simeone’s side keep their place at the top of the table, despite the result, but Ronald Koeman‘s side will leapfrog them if they win their vital game in hand against Granada in midweek.

The run in is likely to go right to the final day and Simeone stated the ability to stay focused will be vital in the weeks ahead.

Diego Simeone

“I am clear that mentality will be key. The emotional balance will be the key to winning,” he told a post match interview with Marca.

“La Liga is usually won by Barcelona and Real Madrid. Except in 2014 or another year when we were close.

“For much of the season we had an advantage, but we understood Barcelona and Madrid were not going to drop out of the race.

“We will watch the situation as game by game. We will try to do our best against Elche, it is exciting.”

Atletico face five vital games before the end of the campaign starting away at Elche next weekend before travelling to the Camp Nou on May 8.

Simeone’s leaders then wrap up the season with home games against Real Sociedad and Osasuna and a final day trip to Real Valladolid.

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