Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is demanding more from mis-firing strikers Jackson Martinez and Fernando Torres.
Simeone’s team entertain Valencia in La Liga on Sunday, with the hosts two points shy of the leaders in fifth amid a congested early season battle at the top of the table.
Atletico’s title cause would be helped by a greater goal return from Martinez and Torres – the former Porto man scoring in the 4-0 win over Astana in midweek for the first time since August, while the last of Torres’ two league goals this term came at Eibar in mid-September.
“Torres and Jackson have scored two goals each in all competitions. No doubt we and them expected more. But as soon as they get goals, they will grow in confidence,” Simeone said.
Thankfully for Simeone, Antoine Griezmann has more than picked up the slack.
The France international scored a dazzling solo goal in last weekend’s 2-0 win over his former employers Real Sociedad and has six goals in 11 appearances this term.
“Antoine [Griezmann] arrived here as a winger, but now he feels more comfortable in the centre,” Simeone added. “He will get better figures playing there. He can be first striker or second striker. He might play as a winger in some matches if necessary, but his position right now is in the centre.”
Simeone anticipates a tricky encounter against Valencia, in keeping with an unpredictable season to date where he feels injuries have taken their toll on La Liga’s big hitters.
“It will be a hard match, our opponents have a great team and they compete really well,” he added. “Valencia is a really dangerous rival with good individual talents.
“It’s clear that top teams are collecting fewer points this year but they are suffering important injuries. If others can take advantage of this, possibly La Liga will be more competitive.”