Simeone defends Atletico playing style

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has defended his side's style of play ahead of Saturday's trip to Real Valladolid, insisting his focus is on winning.

Diego Simeone of Atletico Madrid gives instructions to Koke

Los Rojiblancos are joint top of the Primera Division and got their Champions League campaign off to a flying start by beating Zenit St Petersburg on Wednesday.

However, former Atletico coach Radomir Antic, who was in charge when Simeone was a player and led them to a league and cup double in 1996, has expressed his disapproval for the Argentinian's tactics, telling Futbol Tactico magazine: "It's not a style of play I like."

But Simeone said: "We respect everyone's opinion, but our only objective is to see Atletico Madrid win. Some people might like our style, others might not."

The coach also revealed his delight at tying Turkish midfielder Arda Turan to a new contract until 2017.

He added: "It's terrific news. He's a hugely important player to the group. It makes me happy that the club keeps giving new contracts to the players that are helping this team grow. The club values him and always wants to hold on to its best players."

Simeone's only injury concern ahead of the Valladolid game is Adrian Lopez, who received a blow to the face during the game with Zenit and has been ruled out of action for three weeks.

Midfielder Tiago Mendes, who missed the Champions League fixture due to a muscle injury, has been passed fit.

Valladolid coach Juan Ignacio Martinez believes his players cannot afford any mistakes if they are to take any points off Atletico.

He said: "We know these are good times for them, in every sense. They are strong physically and mentally and go into every match with belief and intensity.

"They live off their opponents' mistakes, so we will have to take extra care. But we will play with pride, with our supporters behind us, and try to make things difficult for them."

Valladolid will welcome German forward Patrick Ebert back to the side for the first time since the start of the season after he recovered from a hamstring injury, but Marc Valiente, Valdet Rama and Alvaro Rubio are all doubts.



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