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Koke maintains title dream

Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke insists his side still have faith in their ability to compete for the Primera Division title - starting with a win over fierce rivals Real Madrid on Sunday.

Last Updated: 01/03/14 at 10:41 Post Comment

Koke: Hoping for victory over Real Madrid

Koke: Hoping for victory over Real Madrid

Diego Simeone's men were unexpectedly beaten 3-0 at Osasuna last weekend and have slipped three points behind leaders Real, with just goal difference separating them from second-placed Barcelona.

But, despite the loss in Pamplona, Koke believes everyone is ready to set the record straight and complete a derby double on Sunday night, with Champions League qualification still his goal.

"The truth is that we believe in ourselves," he said.

"We have had a long week although sometimes we prefer to play. We had a week to work on individual aspects of each player and it has been good for us to be able to improve in order to play a good match on Sunday.

"Our fans always want to win a title. For the club it is important to be in the Champions League and create a great long-term project. I think the goals are being met.

"We are aware that we come from a major defeat because of the importance of the result. We are behind them but we have worked hard during the week to improve on the mistakes we made in the previous match."

Real go into the game on the back of a memorable 6-1 Champions League victory in Schalke on Wednesday night that has set Carlo Ancelotti's side up nicely to reach the quarter-finals.

Atletico got the better of Real with a 1-0 win at the Bernabeu in September but Ancelotti highlighted victories in both legs of their more recent Copa Del Rey semi-final clashes as key for his side.

"Both of those games gave us confidence because in the league derby, we had problems," he said.

"It is a very interesting league campaign, very exciting. There are three brave, strong sides battling for the title.

"It is a surprise because I thought that it would be between Barcelona and Madrid but Atletico are doing a fantastic job.

"It is very surprising to see that at this level, 60 points are not enough to be top of the table."

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Readers' Comments

W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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