Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Simeone urges Copa del Rey focus from Atletico

Diego Simeone insists Atletico Madrid will be on their guard against a Copa del Rey upset when they host Reus Deportiu on Thursday.

Atleti hold a slender 2-1 aggregate lead over their third-tier opponents, having fallen behind in the first leg before being bailed out by goals from Luciano Vietto and Saul Niguez.

Simeone is likely to rotate his starting XI as he aims to extend an eight-match winning streak across all competitions that has helped to bring the 2013-14 Liga champions level on points with Barcelona at the summit of the Spanish top flight.

But the Argentinian has urged his players to turn in a fully committed performance against Reus, citing the first leg as a warning the 10-time winners must heed.

“We’ll go with everything we have, as always, and with what we understand will make us continue in this Copa del Rey – which, as we’ve always said, we respect because it’s given us many joys and because Atletico Madrid is historically a cup team,” said Simeone at a pre-match news conference.

“It is tight – 2-1 is not a 4-0 result and it’s clear that dangerous situations can always happen in football. You have to be ready so they don’t happen.

“The best way to be prepared is to do your best, try to respect the rival that played a good match in the first leg and that has good qualities – especially the speed of the guys at the top who made the first-leg match complicated for us.

“We hope to solve it well and to be as strong as we have been lately.”



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