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Simeone delighted with Atletico progress

SoccerNews in La Liga 21 Dec 2012

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Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is pleased with the progress his side have made in the year since he took control in the dugout.

Atletico sit second in the La Liga table, having lost just three league games – an improvement on their fifth placed finish last season.

“I am very happy to be at a club which I love for a year, where I found a group of players who are fully behind the ideas we want to give to the team,” Simeone said.

“It is something that has helped us achieve very good things.

“We are very happy with what we have done, because when we came here the situation was not easy, and the players made a commitment to Atletico Madrid, which became a competitive team everywhere.”

Simeone praised Celta Vigo midfielder Iago Aspas, adding that his team will be wary when they come up against him on Friday.

“Celta have played well since we played against them in the pre-season,” he said.

“They are a team that have a varied offence and a dynamic style, with a player like (Iago) Aspas, who is very important.

“It will be a difficult game, because they have a direct way of playing especially away, and we have to be aware and obviously try to control the midfield where Aspas plays – a player who is different.”

Simeone also offered words of encouragement to Barca manager Tito Vilanova, who underwent surgery on Wednesday after a recurrence of cancer in his salivary gland.

“I just wanted to tell him (Vilanova) the same that has already been said by the football world,” Simeone said.

“He has energy, power, and he is a brave guy, who is suffering from this again.

“I know that all the energy of the people around him, who are supporting him, are hoping that everything will be all right.”

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