Diego Simeone remains confident the goals will come for Jackson Martinez after the striker drew another blank in Atletico Madrid’s 3-0 Copa del Rey last-16 second-leg win over Rayo Vallecano.
Angel Correa’s 40th-minute strike and two goals from Antoine Griezmann ensured a 4-1 aggregate success and a place in the last eight for Simeone’s men.
Griezmann’s brace took his tally for the season to 16 goals while Martinez – who moved to Atletico from Porto in June last year for €35million – has just three to his name.
The Colombia forward was denied by Rayo goalkeeper Yoel moments before Griezmann’s first 10 minutes from time.
Asked about the contrast between the form of Griezmann and Martinez, Simeone – who would not be drawn on questions surrounding the transfer ban imposed on Atletico by FIFA on Thursday – said: “They are situations with which one must live.
“But I liked Jackson’s game a lot. The goals will arrive because he has them [in his game]. It is a matter of waiting.”
On his team’s overall performance, Simeone added: “In the first 20 minutes Rayo had good control of the ball. We switched to 4-4-2 and pressed and had chances. After the break we were stronger physically.
“We are in the quarters and we see the majority of the teams [still in the competition] are in the top half. We are having a nice Copa. At this level, all the rivals are complicated.”
Meanwhile, Rayo coach Paco Jemez said: “Up until 2-0 we were doing okay in the game. They scored a great first goal and that calmed them down, right at the worst time for us.
“After the second we needed to go for it and we knew Atleti could score more. Now we have to focus on the league and join forces for what’s to come.”