Madrid, Sep 24 (IANS) Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone said on Monday that his squad is improving after a rocky start to the La Liga football season, and praised France midfielder Thomas Lemar for his first Spanish league goal in the 2-0 win against Getafe over the weekend.
In the first five La Liga matches, Atletico suffered a defeat and two draws and is set to host Huesca in the sixth round of the Spanish league on Tuesday, reports Efe.
“The team is getting better,” the Argentine coach said in the pre-match presser.
“I think it is managing to sustain the attack, but to sustain the attack is not to attack with the ball, it is a concept that starts from the defensive aspect so that the team can position itself further away from its goal.”
Simeone stressed that his side began improving after the 0-2 La Liga loss to Celta on September 1.
“We improved against Eibar, had more forcefulness and balance against Monaco (in the UEFA Champions League) and had more regularity and constancy against Getafe,” he recalled.
On Saturday, Atletico snapped a two-match winless run in the Spanish league thanks in large part to their new summer signing Lemar, who forced an own goal by Getafe’s goalkeeper and then scored again in the second half.
“It makes me very happy for him,” Simeone said. “He comes with an important pressure because of what it cost for the club to bring him.”
Meanwhile, Simeone led the practice with all available first team players, missing only Colombia defender Santiago Arias and Montenegro defender Stefan Savic, who is still recovering from a severe muscle injury he picked up while on international duty in the UEFA Nations League.
“Good news! (Spain midfielder) Vitolo Machin has recovered from his injury and will be fit to play in this Tuesday’s match at the Wanda Metropolitano against Huesca,” the Spanish club announced in a statement, adding that he “trained at the same pace as his teammates” on Monday.
Spain forward Diego Costa, France forward Antoine Griezmann and Croatia forward Nikola Kalinic attended the session, while Ghana midfielder Thomas Partey and Spain midfielder Rodrigo Hernandez stood out for their precision, as documented by an efe-epa journalist.