Newly-appointed Atlético coach Diego Simeone gave a press conference at the club’s Majadahonda-based training facilities following Tuesday morning’s practice.
When asked what his goal for the club was, Simeone simply responded:
“To be a team. That’s what I want.”
In response to questions regarding winger José Antonio Reyes’ imminent exit to Sevilla, the former Colchonero captain said
“Atlético Madrid is above all names,” before admitting that “we find ourselves in a difficult situation.”
‘El Cholo’ continued: “On the first day, [Reyes] arrived two hours before the training session and told us of his desire to leave.
“He’s an important player, we would’ve liked to have been able to count on him, but there’s no time to wait for anyone.”
Simeone replaced Gregorio Manzano on the 23rd of December following Atleti’s poor run of form in league play, especially in away games, and embarrassing elimination from the Copa del Rey at the hands of Segunda División B side Albacete.
“From now on, all we have to do is focus on our next match, which can serve as motivation to press forward,” Simeone said.
“We can’t look back at what has already come to pass. We must look to the future.”
The Rojiblanco boss wants “a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of will” and “a lot of desire” from his men, so that the team can give the fans “hope once again”.
“We will try to help ourselves with the more important players: Arda, Diego, Pizzi, Falcao, Koke, to see how they can play together,” the 41-year-old said.
“A new season starts now. There are players here that have played for big clubs before arriving at Atlético.
“We will have to give them the tools and solutions they need to show what they are capable of.”
El Cholo refused to offer specifics with regard to his starting XI, only revealing that “we will always play with four at the back.
“I like effort, balance, and the word ‘team’.”
The former Argentina international then spoke about a lesson he learned at the Vicente Calderón as a player.
“Atleti has taught me something very good,” he said.
“In hard times we must pull together.”