Simeone: "Aragonés, Caminero, Kiko... we've all been whistled"
El Cholo praised Álvaro Morata for his goal and the rest of the team: "Herrera started and did well. Correa worked non-stop. Hermoso responded well..."
Diego Pablo Simeone gave his thoughts on Atlético's 1-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen and apologised for the tense atmosphere at the Metropolitano in which some players were whistled by the home fans.
Win puts Atlético ahead of Juventus in Group D
Tonight's win puts Atleti top of Group D, would you like to finish the group stage as leaders?
We just try to confront every game as though it's the last. We don't stop to think what might happen four games from now. Tonight's game against Bayer Leverkusen was a very important one, the team needed to be fully focused against a side which plays good football.
Did you field four in midfield to stop anxiety setting in?
Anxiety's normal, the team grew in confidence. We saw some good things tonight although we have to improve when we are in or close to the opponents' box. It's not easy for any team because all of our rivals defend well. Bayer Leverkusen are the side who have the most possession in the Bundesliga but they are also very quick and so it was important for us to keep attacking them so they couldn't hit us the break. In the first half we tried to prise them open through the middle. After the break we spoke about taking a more practical approach and that's what we did. The first warning came from a Trippier cross which Costa just couldn't get on to and then Lodi from which we scored.
Fans show their concern at the Metropolitano
Are you worried that the atmosphere at the stadium seemed a bit tense?
Atlético people have always been intense and passionate, and I could feel it myself at the most moment part of the game. Anxiety is there but players have to learn to deal with it. Herrera did reallt well, Hermoso did brilliantly coming on for Giménez. Goals will give us more confidence. Morata's goal will unite us as a team, and that hug he got from Koke.
Koke was whistled was he was substituted. You asked the fans to applaus him. Do you think the players lack confidence?
People do what they see and feel in that moment. I remember years ago with Luis [Aragonés], Caminero, Kiko... We've all been whistled. The fans want you to play well tonight, but Koke, when he leaves the dressing room later, will get a good reception. We are the ones who, instead of getting whistled, have to try to change that into applause.
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