Diego Simeone says Atletico Madrid enjoy being “annoying” to their opponents as they look to sustain a Liga title challenge this season.
The 2013-14 champions are four points adrift of leaders Barcelona after 12 matches and can move temporarily five points ahead of city rivals Real Madrid with a win against Espanyol on Saturday.
Simeone says Atletico’s aim is to remain a thorn in the side for the rest of Spain’s top flight but claims the challenge is to keep up winning ways in the process.
“The idea and the expectations are to be an annoying team,” he said on Friday. “We want teams to be bothered when they play Atletico. We’ve done that, but the most difficult thing is to maintain it and, above all, to keep winning.
“It seems simple, it seems that with good players you can win, and it’s not always the case.
“We’re thinking game by game, we improve ourselves and that’s how we are,” the former Argentina midfielder added of his side’s title challenge. “We know we can improve and the objective is to grow from an Atletico Madrid point of view, without looking at other teams.”
Simeone has called on his side to show more of a clinical edge in front of goal as they look to end a modest run of three goals scored in three Liga matches.
“Except Jackson [Martinez], everyone is available. We have to wait and see how the boys are from Wednesday and then we’ll work with the team formation,” he said.
“The team defends well as a group. It’s not just the defence. We’re a strong team, a good group.
“We have chances at goal and what we need is to have more precision in front of goal.
“Espanyol work well as a team. [Felipe] Caicedo is doing well and [Marco] Asensio can hurt you every time he has the ball. They’re two players I’ve always liked.”