Atletico Madrid coach, Diego Simeone, called on Monday, the reigning La Liga champion, to “evolve and change” in order not to fall prey to his rivals, ahead of his expected match against AC Milan in the second round of the group stage of the Champions League on Tuesday.
Simeone said during his press conference, “We come from a season where the clubs are getting to know us and they are working accordingly on our strengths.”
And he added, “We have to develop, change and look for other ways when we are in such cases,” referring to the first loss of the title holder this season in the league, which came against bottom of the standings, Alaves, with a score of 0-1.
Colchoneros won only two of his last six matches in various competitions, and his loss on Saturday was his third in four matches, during which Simeone’s men failed to score.
“In many of the matches we played, it seemed that the opposing team dominated the spaces,” the Argentine coach added.
Simeone called on his players to “maintain the strength that made us competitive” after an unconvincing start on the continent following a goalless draw at home to Porto in the difficult Group B competition, which also includes, along with Milan, Liverpool.
Simeone is well aware of the importance of his next match against the seven-time champion, so he said before traveling to San Siro, “It will be a difficult match in which we have to try and take it to areas where we can hurt them.”
Team captain Koke and French international Thomas Lemar are expected to return after recovering from injury, while Portuguese striker Joao Felix will be on the list of players after returning from a two-game suspension.
On the other hand, Simeone is waiting for his old-new French striker Antoine Griezmann to regain his scoring efficiency after returning to the capital, Madrid, on loan from Barcelona last month.
Koke dispelled fears about the declining performance of the “Griezmann” striker, saying, “This is the case with Griezmann? It doesn’t worry me. He’s not alone in playing, we play together. We all have to recover the feelings of being at the top.”
He concluded, “The fact that he does not score does not matter to me. The (goals) will come. I am sure that he would prefer not to score, but for the sake of the team that we achieve victories together rather than the team scoring and losing.”
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