ATLÉTICO

Koke: "It seems like you're always trying to kick Cholo out"

The Atlético midfielder responded angrily to a question about his coach at a promotional event: "You always ask the same thing. He has a contract..."

Koke, durante un entrenamiento del Atlético de Madrid.
CHEMA DIAZ DIARIO AS

How is the side after the victory over Las Palmas?

The team is fine; we won which is what we had to do. It wasn’t an easy game, Las Palmas know what they are doing, they play attractive football and we played very well. We had a lot of chances in the first half but it just didn’t want to go in. But Saúl’s incredible goal gave us the confidence to win.

The have been reports that there is a bit of a rift between the players and Simeone. Is something wrong in the dressing room?

No, not at all, we’re fine, working hard. We’ve been doing the same thing for five years. At the end of the day you go through streaks. 2016 was a historic one for the club and I hope 2017 will be as well.

Do you think Simeone will stay on next season?

You’re always on about the same thing, it seems like you want to kick Cholo out. You’re always asking if he’s going to stay… he has a contract and it looks as though he’ll see it out.

"We need a little bit of luck"

What do you think Atlético are lacking in La Liga?

A little bit of luck. We’ve played well during games but we haven’t been fortunate. But there’s still a long way to go, we’re halfway through the season and we’re not in that bad shape. We’re six points off Barcelona in second… we need to be more consistent in the league, as we have been in the Champions League. Those who played in the Copa game did well and we’ll have to see if luck smiles us on a bit more. Our objective is to finish third and if we do better than that, that’d be great.

Does it annoy you that your role in the team has been used as a stick to beat Simeone with?

No, it doesn’t. When you’re winning everything is roses and when you’re not, the criticism comes. That’s how football works.

Cerci is in the squad for the first time this season and may play in Guijuelo…

I think he’ll be given some playing time. We’ll see. He has had a serious injury but he’s raring to go. He wants to succeed here. It’s difficult at Atlético because you have to work so hard. And that he needs to do now that he’s fit again; work hard and give the best of himself.