Diego Simeone has urged his Atletico Madrid side to finish their Liga campaign with a flourish as they approach the final 10 games.
The reigning champions sit fourth ahead of Saturday’s clash with Cordoba, although the form of Valencia and Sevilla threatens the holders’ chances of ensuring another top-four berth this term.
Three draws from their last five league games have heightened the need for Atleti to return to winning ways when they visit the Estadio Nuevo Arcangel.
“We are very aware that we play with the shirt of Atletico de Madrid,” Simeone said on Friday.
“There are 10 finals ahead of us in La Liga and there is one tomorrow that we need to play as such. Words matter little at this stage of the season.
“We have to play a very strong match from the start and compete with the intensity with which we finished the last four games before the break.”
Simeone will remain without injured pair Raul Garcia and Miguel Angel Moya for this weekend’s clash, while Valencia and Sevilla host Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao respectively.
Despite increased competition for an automatic UEFA Champions League spot, Simeone welcomed their rivals’ improves form.
“Valencia and Sevilla have grown tremendously and Villarreal continue their upward trend,” Simeone added.
“This is good for competition in the league and hopefully it stays that way and everyone can compete.
“The teams that have been fighting for third place are growing, I hope that we will allow us all to get closer economically and make it more fun.”