Diego Simeone feels Atletico Madrid fans are enthused by the prospect of seeing him remain at the helm.
The Atleti coach signed a two-year contract extension with the club this week, following in the footsteps of key men Antoine Griezmann and Saul Niguez.
Having earlier identified the secured futures of these players during a transfer embargo as a key factor in his decision to renew, Simeone also feels the supporters have been given a boost.
“The Atletico fans are happy that Griezmann, Saul and the coach will continue at the club,” he told a pre-match news conference ahead of facing Valencia.
“I see enthusiasm, excitement and a strong will to compete again. The league started and then stopped [for the international break], but I see optimism.”
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) September 8, 2017
Atleti have taken four points from two LaLiga games, but so too have Valencia – who drew 2-2 at champions Real Madrid prior to the international break – and Simeone expects a difficult encounter.
“[Valencia] come from playing a very good game at the [Santiago] Bernabeu,” he said.
“The coach [Marcelino] is a very good coach and he has characteristics similar to those I have. I identify with Marcelino’s idea of the game and what his teams show.
“Valencia close tightly, their players will attack spaces and the forwards work with intensity. It makes them a competitive team and it will be a difficult match.”
While Griezmann remains at Atleti, he will be suspended for the trip to Mestalla and Simeone is yet to decide on his front two.
“We have options in attack – we can do damage up front,” he added. “We will see who we start with. After training, we will decide on the attacking pair.”
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