Simeone: Continued growth is what counts

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Diego Simeone believes Atletico Madrid must focus on recent positives as they look to reverse a poor run of form in LaLiga.

After a shaky end to 2016, the Atletico Madrid boss wants to see his players translate recent positive performances into league form.
Atletico have just three wins from their last eight LaLiga games and currently sit sixth, five points off automatic Champions League qualification and nine behind leaders Real Madrid.

However, Simeone’s team have secured three successive competitive victories, two of which came in the Copa del Rey and one in a friendly against Al-Ittihad, and he is eager to maintain momentum.

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“I care about continuing to see growth during these matches, this is what counts,” Simeone said ahead of Saturday’s LaLiga trip to Eibar.

“It is clear that training well brings you closer to performing better in the game.

“In the friendly match we played in Saudi Arabia [against Al-Ittihad] we played with a lot of enthusiasm and we can look for positives from this game, and against Las Palmas [in the Copa] we saw a compact team – a team in the true sense of the word.

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“Hopefully tomorrow [Saturday] we can repeat the same situation.”

Eibar are only five points adrift of Atleti and Simeone is wary of the threat they carry, speaking of his admiration for their style of play.

“I always respect, as you know, teams that are clear about how they play and that present a danger,” he said.

“The coach [Jose Luis Mendilibar) is working perfectly well. He has a team that is extremely clear about the type of football that brings them closest to their best version.

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“They are intense, play well out wide, play the second ball well and have a good aggression.

“We have to take the match in the direction that suits us.”

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