Simeone: Until there’s five games to go, we won’t talk about the title
Atlético Madrid manager Diego Simeone accepted that Espanyol had made the game very difficult for his team, but was pleased that the goal from Diego Costa had managed to separate the two sides, along with the resolve his players had shown.
In his post-match press conference, Diego Simeone underlined that it had been a difficult challenge against Espanyol, but praised the resilience of his players as they saw the game through to a positive outcome, as they have done so many times before.
“It was hard because it remained 1-0. When you can’t finish things off with the second, the restlessness remains, but the team managed the game very well. In the first half we were a little imprecise, but what the players are doing is extraordinary. They give everything, get wins, keep clean sheets, keep going in the Champions League and maintain expectations in La Liga.”
As for praise from rival manager Javier Aguirre, along with the Mexican coach pointing at what a great example Atlético Madrid are, Simeone felt humbled and thankful, whilst acknowledging his understanding that his team trying to break the monopoly of the big two in La Liga, is inspiring a lot of people.
“I’m really grateful to him for his words. I have great appreciation for him. His teams are always competitive, but with humility, we don’t want to be an example to anyone. That said, we feel that many people identify with us in society, with how difficult things are. We know how hard it is to achieve things, when we’re inferior. It’s complicated, but that’s why it gives more value to what we’re doing.”
Asked if he was disappointed with what José Sosa has contributed so far, Simeone responded to the contrary, that he’s very pleased with the player.
“In very few games he’s provided three assists; against Rayo, Celta and Milan. Today it was harder for him, because there wasn’t much space, but he’s doing important things for us.”
Simeone did feel that until his goal, Diego Costa wasn’t firing on all cylinders, but was pleased with how the player improved during the game.
“He wasn’t so precise in the first half and I was happy how he came out of that situation. He wasn’t having such a good game and I like how he reacted to that. He waited for his moment and their mistake. We knew the chance would come and it did, so I’m satisfied with that.”
As for the hunt for silverware, Simeone remains cautious about speaking too soon, or too confidently.
“Like I’ve said before, until there’s five games to go, we won’t talk about it. If we get there as we have so far, in that position, we’ll be talking about something else.”