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Simeone rejects ‘fear clause’ talk as focus turns to Villarreal

The Atleti coach spoke with the media this morning ahead of his side’s match up against a Villarreal side with Champions League aspirations.

Jesús RubioDiario AS

Atlético Madrid host Villarreal tomorrow evening (20.30 CET) well aware of the threat posed by the Yellow Submarine.

“They’re an excellent team and that’s why they’re in the running for fourth place,” said Diego Simeone following his side’s final pre-match training session this morning. “They play very well as a unit and have a very clear idea of how they want to play.”

The visit of high-flying Villarreal, who sit just six points behind Atleti, will undoubtedly be a tough test for the second-placed side. “At home things are tougher for us. Teams put a lot of men behind the ball and we need be really creative to break them down,” he added. “We need the stadium and the fans to be as encouraging and supportive as they always are. We need them on our side.”

Despite the club’s busy upcoming fixture list, Simeone’s resolute game-by-game approach shows no signs of waning. He said: “We play every game thinking of how important it is. There’s nothing more important this match against Villarreal and we’ll play with the best side we have available.”

Simeone also appeared unconcerned by the issue of loanee Leo Baptistao featuring against his former side. The Brazilian is under contract at the Calderón until 2021 but is eligible to play in tomorrow’s game as Atleti didn’t include a ‘fear clause’ in the loan agreement preventing him from playing against his parent club. “I’m just here to coach. That’s something the club directors take care of.”


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