Simeone takes blame for defeat but tells Atletico: We need action, not words

By Sports Desk November 06, 2019

Diego Simeone accepted the blame for Atletico Madrid's 2-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen but insisted afterwards that his side "need action, not words".

Atleti missed out on the chance to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League as an own goal from Thomas Partey and a strike from Kevin Volland ended their 11-game unbeaten run.

The visitors barely threatened at the BayArena until they were 2-0 down, with Alvaro Morata grabbing a goal in second-half injury time after Nadiem Amiri had been sent off.

Atleti are now three games without a win in domestic and European competition and their ineffective attack is fast becoming a problem, with Diego Costa producing another poor performance before being substituted after an hour.

Simeone would not place the blame on Costa's shoulders, though, stressing the need for players to respond by doubling their efforts in training.

"It doesn't seem fair to me to blame one player," he said afterwards.

"The one who is firstly responsible for the first half and for the team not responding is me because I can't get the team to start with motivation, something that they do in the second half.

"Now, we have to keep working. When words are just repeated, they don't have much meaning. We need action, not words.

"There are things to talk about within the dressing room when results don't come your way. If things are going badly, we have to try twice as hard, work twice as hard."

Midfielder Saul Niguez admits it is becoming a concern that Atleti are unable to perform well across 90 minutes, having played similarly poorly at Sevilla last weekend before fighting back to draw 1-1.

"We've been better," he said to Movistar. "We have to keep working, knowing that there are things we haven't done well and that we always give away a half, and it doesn't have to be like this.

"It's something for everyone to look at so we can come through it. If we don't win the first half, we have to win the second."

Related items

  • Mourinho praises Eriksen, won't discuss midfielder's future Mourinho praises Eriksen, won't discuss midfielder's future

    Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho praised Christian Eriksen's performances, but refused to discuss the midfielder's future.

    Eriksen's future has been widely spoken about with the Denmark international coming out of contract at the end of the season.

    However, Mourinho is more concerned with the 27-year-old's performances and said he was pleased with Eriksen, who has made just one start since the Portuguese tactician's arrival.

    "I only know his contract ends at the end of the season and the conversations I have had with Christian are private conversations that I am not going to share," Mourinho told UK newspapers.

    "He was so honest with me and I was so on honest with him – our relationship is really, really good. We have a very good relationship that started on day one. I am not going to betray that trust and relationship.

    "I just share this intimate conversation with the structure of the club and Christian obviously knows I am an important part of the club and my job is to share with the structure but to you, it is not for me to say. It is up to Christian to tell anything he wants to or not.

    "Every time I play him, I think he shows clearly the quality he has and he tries to help the team when he's on the pitch which is an important thing for me, independent of his future."

    Eriksen has previously been linked with a move to Real Madrid, while Manchester United are also reportedly interested.

    But, asked if Eriksen would leave in January, Mourinho said: "I cannot answer that. I don't know."

  • Rashford eager to live up to 'nice' Ronaldo comparisons Rashford eager to live up to 'nice' Ronaldo comparisons

    Marcus Rashford labelled Ole Gunnar Solskjaer comparing him to Cristiano Ronaldo as "nice", but the Manchester United forward said he still had a way to go to reach those heights.

    Rashford was compared to Ronaldo by his manager after starring in United's 2-1 Premier League win over Manchester City last week.

    But while happy with such talk, the 22-year-old said he needed to improve to match the five-time Ballon d'Or winner and United great.

    "The Ronaldo thing was nice, definitely a compliment," Rashford told BBC Sport.

    "But I understand how far I've got left to go to reach the heights he reached so I am very clear-minded and focused on myself."

    Rashford came through the academy at United and has already made 191 senior appearances for the Premier League giants, scoring 58 goals.

    The forward has a painting on the walls at Carrington after coming through the youth system and Rashford said he knew the responsibility he held.

    "It is a bit overwhelming but it is the process of development. The players I looked up to are obviously older now. The younger players look up to us," he said.

    "The transition happens so fast. When I understood that, my perception of that picture changed a little bit.

    "When I was younger and saw people such as [David] Beckham and [Paul] Scholes on the walls, it gave me that determination every time you went to training. I wanted to reach those heights. I knew they were on the other side of the building, training every day and working hard. I was so far away from them but so close at the same time.

    "It's happening now where people like me and Scotty [McTominay] are an example to some of the academy lads who are coming in. It will be the same in a few years' time, when it's the next lot of kids.

    "While that happens, I don't see United's breeding of players slowing down."

  • Klopp 'couldn't imagine' Liverpool departure in 2022 Klopp 'couldn't imagine' Liverpool departure in 2022

    Jurgen Klopp said he could not imagine leaving Liverpool in 2022 after the manager opted to extend his contract.

    The German, who led the Premier League giants to Champions League glory last season, extended his deal at Anfield until 2024 on Friday.

    Klopp said the position Liverpool were in meant he could not see himself leaving at the end of his previous contract.

    "I couldn't imagine I would leave," he told UK newspapers ahead of hosting Watford on Saturday.

    "That was the moment I thought we can start thinking about how long do I want to stay? I have no clue how long it will be in the end, but it was not possible for me to imagine that I would leave in 2022 because of the people we have and what we have created here.

    "It was not that I went to the club and said, 'come on, let's have a new contract'. The club started the talks and then we realised – together with my family – that it is the right thing to do.

    "I liked the idea more and more."

    Klopp has been in charge at Liverpool since October 2015, with last season's European success his first piece of silverware.

    Asked if he felt a wider responsibility to Liverpool as a whole, Klopp said: "Yes, I feel responsible for a lot of things but I don't think too much about it. 

    "People make more of it than it is. I try to help this football club to be in the best possible place and then that has an impact on all the rest of things in the city, I guess. 

    "I don't feel responsible for all things in Liverpool - thank God, not. There is already enough I feel responsible for."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.