Simeone demands more from Atletico

Koke has revealed how Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has demanded an improvement from his midfield as they prepare to host Granada.

Diego Simone, Atletico Madrid

Atletico have enjoyed a superb season and lie third in the La Liga table, putting them on course for Champions League qualification.

Simeone's side have lost just once in their last seven games, but have fallen behind local rivals Real in the battle to finish second behind champions-elect Barcelona.

And Koke and his midfield colleagues have been told by their Argentinian boss they have to start making better use of possession and weighing in with goals to ease the pressure on Radamel Falcao.

The in-demand striker has got 22 league goals to his name this season, 16 more than any other member of Atletico's squad.

"We know we have been missing a bit of quality in the final pass and in retaining possession," Koke told a press conference.

"We know as a team we have to work hard to keep improving. It is true that as a midfield we have not contributed as many goals as we would like to, but we will keep working and hopefully the goals will start to come."

While Atletico are fighting at the top of the table, Granada are locked in a battle for La Liga survival.

Lucas Alcaraz's side are just two points above the drop zone and have not won in their last seven games, losing 5-1 at home to Real Betis last time out.

Alcaraz told a press conference: "The results have not been good for me or for the players themselves.

"The other day was not good either in terms of the performance or the result. We have to compete and be close to winning games to restore confidence."

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