Simeone: "When you win a game, you have to celebrate it"
Atlético's coach looked ahead to tonight's game against Villarreal at the Metropolitano and explained the euphoria after Tuesday's win over Liverpool.
Atlético Madrid coach Diego Simeone previewed tonight's game against Villarreal at the Metropolitano and gave his thoughts on the post-match euphoria following Tuesday's win over Liverpool.
Atleti and Liverpool meet again for the return leg of their Champions League Last 16 tie at Anfield on 11 March. Atlético's celebrations at the end of the first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano drew a few comments from their opponents - while not criticising the fervent celebrations by the home fans, Reds manager Jürgen Klopp pointed out that the tie is still only at the halfway stage.
Atlético versus Villarreal - sixth versus seventh in the table
How do see tonight's game against Villarreal?
We know they're a rival who have been getting good results - especially away from home. Our intention is to continue the upward trajectory the team has been in since the Granada match.
Renan Lodi had a great game against Liverpool; he is turning into a first class defender…
He's a young lad who has come to play in a different league. And he's come here with the need to always be winning. He has also shown dedication and a keeness to continue developing. There have been league games and Champions League game in which he's done well - and others in which I've been looking for something else so I've taken him off. The only way you can keep growing is to keep working - there's no other way. The other day he put in a great performamce against great players who were attacking down his wing.
Boost for Atlético attack
Diego Costa and João Félix are available again. You haven't used a three-man attack since 19 October. Are you pleased that is now an option again?
What pleases me is that everyone in the squad is fit - that creates competition internally. When João Félix and Costa were out, Correa and Vitolo took the reins and that generated competition within the squad. The same happened with Giménez and Savic, with Felipe and Hermoso. That healthy competition allows us to grow as a team and makes us improve collectively.
How can you curb the fans' euphoria following the win over Liverpool?
I've always said that extremes are a bad thing. There are no extremes within the squad. We have seen our people vent their frustration with the negative results we have been getting and when we gain positive results, the opposite happens. But we know that LaLiga is long, and that the Champions League is very tough and the only way we can achieve some kind of balance is by being consistent.
Atlético were criticised for celebrating at the end if the Liverpool game…
In the same way that defeats make me feel depressed, you have to celebrate when you win. As for the Liverpool game, we are only at the halfway stage. We've got the second half to play.
Atlético squad for the Villarreal game:
Oblak, Adán; Giménez, Arias, Lodi, Savic, Felipe, Hermoso, Trippier, Vrsaljko; Thomas, Koke, Saúl, Llorente, Vitolo, Carrasco; João Félix, Morata, Correa, Costa, Saponjic.
The Atlético-Villarreal game kicks off at 21:00 hours CET. Follow the action live here:
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