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Simeone looking to push on

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone is urging his players not to back off in the second part of the season.

Last Updated: 12/01/13 at 14:30 Post Comment

Diego Simeone: Hopes is side can maintain form

Diego Simeone: Hopes is side can maintain form

Los Rojiblancos have lost ground on league leaders Barcelona in recent weeks but remain in second place, five points ahead of Real Madrid, and are through to the last 32 of the Europa League and quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey.

Simeone told the club's website: "The team has had a very solid and competitive first half of the season.

"The players have made a great effort to finish it well, but this doesn't stop for what is to come because championships are evaluated on how they finish. We are only halfway through the tournament.

"The team has worked well until now and we hope to continue growing and improving to have the best performance on the part of everyone."

Most impressively of all, Atleti have won all 14 of their games at the Vicente Calderon this season, but Simeone is wary of a Zaragoza side who have taken more points on the road than at home.

"We need to be attentive because Zaragoza is a great team and an opponent that is very strong away from home," he said.

"It is a hard game and we need to play an important game if we are to win the match."

With Alvaro Gonzalez suspended for the visitors, much of the responsibility for marking Falcao will fall upon Glenn Loovens and the former Celtic defender believes he will need some help from his team-mates to keep the Colombian quiet.

He told Marca: "The marking of Falcao will be a task for the whole defence. We need to give our best to be able to stop him.

"This season our numbers away from home are very good and we are going with a lot of confidence in our chances, but Atletico is a very strong team, above all at their stadium."

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I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

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