Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone admits his side are in need of a good day against lowly Real Valladolid as they look to recover from a rare bad week that has significantly hit their hopes of claiming any silverware this season.
Atletico head into Saturday’s clash on the back of three successive defeats, going down twice to bitter rivals Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-finals either side of a shock league loss to Almeria.
That is the Rojiblancos’ worst run of results in over three years and, as well as seeing their cup defence come to an end, also saw them surrender top spot in the Spanish Primera Division. Simeone’s men are still in a great situation in La Liga, sitting level on 57 points with top two Barcelona and Real, but the former Argentina international knows it is important they react to their recent disappointments in a positive way.
“Tomorrow is a good chance to show how this team is, we need to have a good game,” Simeone said. “We’ll see in what way we can defeat a team who will be coming here highly motivated. Every team in the second half of the season is looking to pick up points.”
Despite that warning against a possible upset, Atletico, who play AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League last 16 next week, will be overwhelming favourites to beat third-bottom Valladolid at the Vicente Calderon, where they have picked up 32 from a possible 36 points this season.