Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone will continue to rotate his squad in La Liga this term as he seeks to once again challenge Barcelona and Real Madrid for the title.
Simeone’s new-look Atleti have made a promising start to the season – taking 12 points from five games while kicking off their Champions League campaign with victory over Galatasaray.
And Simeone believes making changes will keep his players fresh for a sustained title challenge.
“We explained it in pre-season. The physical coaches look at the whole year, not individual matches,” he told reporters.
“We don’t listen to those who say they aren’t playing much. It makes them play better, the group is more competitive.
“Rotating is the only one way of challenging Madrid and Barcelona. Players need to realise that 20 minutes are a whole lifetime and we know that five minutes is a long time [referring to the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in 2014].”
The likes of Fernando Torres, Antoine Griezmann and Jackson Martinez have all been handed opportunities to impress Simeone this season, alongside Luciano Vietto and Angel Correa.
Griezmann has perhaps shone the brightest – scoring five times in all competitions – and Simeone added: “All the strikers look good.
“They are competing fairly between them in order to help the team. In Seville, Torres did well and then Jackson scored.
“In Eibar, Jackson had three chances and then Torres came on and scored. The winner is the team.
“I’m happy with both of them. Torres has won everything and Jackson did well in Portugal.”