Diego Simeone's side travel north to face Eibar on Saturday afternoon following a midweek victory over Las Palmas in the Copa del Rey. Following a rough first half of the year, Simeone has been forced into some changes tactically and he was asked about these and more in his press conference ahead of his side's first LaLiga game of 2017.
One of the biggest changes has seen Jose Gimenez deployed as a central midfield and Simeone says, "Jose used to play there when he was young. He has spent some time playing there in the Copa and during the friendly in Saudi Arabia. It is an option to start the game with him there or put him there to close out games on occasion.
On Eibar's ability, Simeone believes Eibar are very clear in what they want to do and how they want to play, adding that "the trainer works extraordinarily well." He also added that they like to play down the flanks and assert aggressiveness on the game. The Argentine says Atletico must match them with all of their intensity and take the game to a level that they can be influential.
Simeone constantly refers to a word used frequently in Spain, ilusión - meaning excitement or eagerness - and he says that "this eagerness is like a return to amateurism, playing in the streets, feeling the ball roll and your eyes widen because you want to win. You don't see anything else, you just want to play football. When you are young, you play to have fun, compete. Professionally, you are forced to think in more absolute terms. That ilusión has to come back like when you were young.
Atletico had an open training day and Simeone was supposed to have made a gesture that signified he would be staying in Madrid. He says that is the way the press interpreted it, "I was playing with my son and I was saying that I had won, but you interpreted it that way, which is not a bad thing for the people."
"They don't worry me, not Gameiro, not Fernando and not Griezmann. They have the goals within them and they will arrive. In many situations and to help the team, as long as the team is in a good run of form, everything combines with the arrival of that goal."