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Simeone shoulders blame for misfit Martinez

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has taken responsibility for Jackson Martinez’s failure to shine at the Vicente Calderon.

Martinez joined Atletico in July following a prolific spell with Porto, but failed to replicate this form in La Liga, finding the net only twice in 15 appearances before completing a surprise move to Chinese Super League team Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao this week.

Speaking ahead of Atletico’s trip to Eibar, Simeone credited the 29-year-old Colombia striker for his hard work and conceded his departure had been something of an “emotional” event at the club.

“Jackson leaving Atletico is my failure,” he said. “It is obvious when a player does not play well I am responsible.

“Jackson didn’t have either the luck or the chances to give his best and I feel responsible.

“It is the best decision for both sides. We just hope Jackson can be the player we expect again.”

He added: ”I can tell you what we have spoken about with the player and what happened when he came to say goodbye to the dressing room, which was very emotional.

“He is a player who has worked well with enthusiasm to fit into the squad, but after the chats we have had we have decided what was best for both parties.

“I am happy that we can look each other in the eye and say hello when we meet again, for those of us on the inside that is what counts, not what people may say on the outside, we are happy with the work he did to compete.”

Even without Jackson, Simeone is confident his squad features sufficient forward talent to maintain their challenge to Liga champions Barcelona and city rivals Real Madrid in the title race.

“I was convinced since last Sunday night that, if Jackson decided to go, we would be okay,” he added.

“We would still have Angel Correa, Fernando Torres, Antoine Griezmann and Luciano Vietto.” 

Fri 5 Feb, 2016
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