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Simeone defends Jimenez

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 20 Sep 2014

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Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has defended under-fire forward Raul Jimenez following Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo.

The Mexico international started in place of Mario Mandzukic on Saturday, with the former Bayern Munich star missing after sustaining a broken nose against Olympiacos on Tuesday.

However, Jimenez failed to impress as both of Atletico’s goals were scored by defenders from set-pieces.

Jimenez arrived at the Vicente Calderon during the close-season after leaving Club America, but he is yet to show the form which persuaded Atletico to spend an estimated €12million on him.

Simeone, though, says he will remain patient with the 23-year-old and added that he was content with the attacker’s performance.

“I liked Raul,” he told reporters. “He endured back-to-goal situations, which is what the forward is asked to do.

“Hopefully people will start to appreciate him soon. You must win people over with enthusiasm, dedication and goals. Today he had a chance and he is close to where we want.

“He held the ball up well. I like him and I hope the people patience which I sure have with him.”

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