Atletico Madrid face a trip to San Sebastian-Donostia on Sunday night in their final game of what has been a long and tricky season for Los Colchoneros.
It was also put to him that this was the most losses he had suffered since taking over Atletico Madrid as manager.
“We have to adjust quite a few things. We suffered the loss of [Kieran] Trippier, which we didn’t resolve as I would have liked.”
“Marcos doesn’t feel as comfortable there and couldn’t show his potential. Vrsaljko played and didn’t play, Wass couldn’t get into it… In the end it’s all or nothing and it’s more difficult to give people opportunities when you’re in a tough situation.”
Trippier moved to Newcastle United in the winter window, a hole which Atleti tried to fill with the signing of Daniel Wass from Valencia. The Danish international has played regularly at right-back although it is not his preferred position. Simeone controversially left the injured Wass on the pitch after an injury against Barcelona, which ended up costing Wass nearly two months of action.
As he detailed to Marca though, right-back wasn’t the only position he was dissatisfied with.
“We suffered a lot with our centre-backs. They sound like excuses but they’re realities. I didn’t know how to resolve it. With Reinildo we maintained more stability and in those 10 matches we conceded 5 goals. The team was stronger defending and it generated more regularity.”
That will be disappointing news to Atleti fans, after a season in which their depth cost them consistently and Los Rojiblancos struggled to put out a consistent team. It does seem as if Reinildo Mandava has settled well, although if Atleti are to challenge next season they will likely need another defensive addition.