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Simeone: "We're privileged to be second; we have to make sure we stay there"

ATLÉTICO-BETIS

Simeone: "We're privileged to be second; we have to make sure we stay there"

Simeone: "We're privileged to be second; we have to make sure we stay there"

Emilio Cobos

DIARIO AS

The coach practically ruled out Diego Costa for the Europa League semi-final against Arsenal: "He has few chances to play on Thursday".

Atlético de Madrid coach Diego Simeone all but ruled out Diego Costa for next week's Europa League semi-final against Arsenal: "He has few chances to play on Thursday". With his side just three points ahead of city rivals Real Madrid in the table, El Cholo stressed the importance of getting result against Betis tomorrow.

Making amends for Thursday's defeat in San Sebastián

Atlético need to show an improvement from the midweek performance against Real Sociedad...

It's important to do a good job, we have to try and keep improving, and look after the position we are in in the table. It is a privilege to occupy second place in the Spanish league and tomorrow we will be up against a team who are playing exceptionally well; they've won their last six games and they're growing as team. Having [Marc] Bartra at the back, has given them balance in defence and in attack. It's turning out to be one of Betis' best seasons of the last few years.

Update on Costa

How is Diego Costa? Will he be fit for the Arsenal game?

The doctors will let us know, but it looks like he doesn't have many options of playing on Thursday. I'm sure he'll be back for the return leg, but I don't think he'll be ready for the first game.

Will you be resting players for the Europa League game?

Our most important game right now is this one against Betis, and we will be fielding a side who we think can compete and win.

Hectic schedule

Are you concerned that players could be tired after playing so many games?

Even though we have a small squad, our figures away from home have dropped. That's something we need to take a look at. We have to isolate what the cause is and correct the problem both in LaLiga and the Europa League.

Do you think perhaps the team has lost intensity in the last few games?

Football players always have to go out to win, to give the best they have. Real Sociedad were the better team, we played badly - especially in the first half. They were more dynamic and took the game to us. We could suffer a blip at any moment, but against Betis, in front of our people, we want to put in an intense display and take the game where we want it to go.

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