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LALIGA

Simeone backs Atlético players to secure Champions League football

Atlético Madrid may not be able to defend their LaLiga title this term, but Diego Simeone has reiterated his belief in his players.

Update:
Simeone backs Atlético players to secure Champions League football
Photo By Oscar J. Barroso/Europa Press via Getty Images

Diego Simeone insisted he "fully believes" Atlético Madrid can secure Champions League qualification as he seeks solutions following disappointment against Levante.

The reigning LaLiga champions are 15 points off local rivals and leaders Real Madrid after 24 games, sitting fifth in the league and level on points with fourth-placed Barcelona, who have played a game fewer.

Simeone's side suffered another setback in their last outing, falling to a 1-0 defeat against bottom side Levante, as their top-four push for Champions League football next season was dented again.

Decent record versus Osasuna

Atlético have won their past seven top-flight meetings with their next opponents Osasuna and Simeone believes his side can escape their underwhelming run of form on Saturday.

"It's normal after the painful defeat, but with a desire to have a new opportunity and to focus on the game against Osasuna, who play really well and are going through a good moment," Simeone told reporters at Friday's pre-match news conference when asked about the squad's morale.

"I have the motivation to live on every day. I'm at a great club, where I want to be, and I look at the future trying to solve the present.

"There isn't one circumstance [behind our problems], but several, and I believe blindly in the players that I have. I'm sure they'll pull this off.

"We're now facing a 14-game league in which there will be seven teams who will have the chance to get into the Champions League, and being all together, looking for ways out of difficult moments like we had in the pandemic, when we had one point more than we do today, [and] we were sixth and finished third.

"We'll have to make a great effort for this, but we're focusing on the present."

Atlético have won on each of their past three LaLiga visits to El Sadar and are looking for four consecutive top-flight wins at Osasuna in the competition for the first time.

However, Simeone's team have failed to win in any of their most recent five away league games, conceding at least twice in each of those matches (12 in total). 

Atleti backing Simeone

But Simeone insisted he has the backing of Atlético chiefs Miguel Angel Gil Marin and Andrea Berta after meeting with the pair to discuss the club's problems.

"We get together no more than one or two days a month, and we talk about the good or bad situations," Simeone added on his discussions with Atleti’s executives. 

"It's a bad moment, but we have to take things forward, being together."

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