Simeone: Rotation key to title challenge

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is hopeful his rotation policy will be the key to challenging Barcelona and Real Madrid for the La Liga title.

Los Colchoneros have made a good start to the season, taking 12 points from five games in the Primera Division with four wins and one defeat, to Barcelona two weeks ago.

And Simeone believes keeping his players fresh through regular rotation will help them launch a sustained title challenge this season.

"We explained it in pre-season. The physical coaches look at the whole year, not individual matches," he told reporters ahead of his side's game against Villareal on Saturday.

"We don't listen to those who say they aren't playing much. It makes them play better, the group is more competitive. Rotating is the only one way of challenging Madrid and Barcelona.

"Players need to realise that 20 minutes are a whole lifetime and we know that five minutes is a long time [referring to the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in 2014]."