ATHLETIC-ATLÉTICO

Simeone: "Favourites? I know that we don't depend on others"

Simeone refuses to look any further than tomorrow's game in Bilbao: "Surpassing ourselves is the next step - improving on what we did last season".

Simeone: "Favourites? I know that we don't depend on others"
JESUS ALVAREZ ORIHUELA DIARIO AS

Diego Simeone appeared before the press on Tuesday after to preview tomorrow's clash with Athletic Club at San Mamés and also talk about the current state of play at Atlético. 

Real Madrid and Barça as the bookies' favourites to win the league; will that help your team?
No, all we are concerned about is resolving tomorrow's game in Bilbao. We couldn't be thinking further from that - regardless of the situation.

Are these midweek games key to the title race?
Yes, it's a key fixture just like every weekend has been since the start of the season. Athletic is a big rival, a very strong side. They have strength in various parts of the pitch, a lot of players in reserve, Raúl [García] has bolstered their structure and it will be a game which we will need to direct to where we feel most comfortable.

Atleti have won in San Mamés in recent visits...
Every game is different to the last. We have been preparing for this moment and for this game; what happened in our meetings with Athletic is in the past now.

Does it worry you at all that the spotlight is on Atlético?
No, but maybe it would influence us if we step away from our own reality. We recently achieved the big objective for this club which was to qualify again for the Champions League and that gives us the strength to continue competing for what's to come; the way we have been working since we arrived at the club means that we know that the importante is tomorrow's game. Surpassing ourselves is the next step we need to take - improving on what we did last season and we are on course to do that but first we have to concentrate on tomorrow's game in Bilbao.

Who will play in central defence?
Any one of the players who will be making the trip is in conditions to start the game. Tomorrow I will decide who is the best option for the kind of game I'm expecting.

Who is the favourite to win the league?
I'm not a fortune teller. What I do have is security, certainty, that it doesn't depend on anyone, it depends on us.

Can you see the team picking up all of the 15 points that are left?
I'll tell you what I think: it depends on us.