La Liga: Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone focused on Espanyol victory
Last Updated: October 18, 2013 9:17pm
Diego Simeone: Only worried about victory
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone does not care about records or milestones, insisting his only concern is beating Espanyol.
The game against Javier Aguirre's side is the Argentinian's 100th match as boss of Los Rojiblancos, while a victory would see his team record nine straight wins, equalling the Real Madrid team of 1968-69's record start to a Spanish league season.
"Neither the record or my 100 games will be relevant against Espanyol," he said in a press conference.
"They are a difficult side to beat and have a similar philosophy to us. They made a good start to the season but recently they've had a couple of bad results. But in any case, they are tough opponents, real fighters, and they play with intensity in all areas of the pitch."
Aguirre spent three years as coach of Atletico and Simeone was full of praise for his opposite number.
"Everyone here at Atletico knows Aguirre well, he's a very experienced coach who has a huge effect on his team. If we don't plan the game well, it will be difficult for us."
Atletico forward Leo Baptistao has been ruled out of the game after injuring his ankle in training, but Raul Garcia returns to the squad after recovering from injury.
David Villa is also expected to return from an ankle injury which meant he missed international duty with Spain.
Espanyol head into the game after suffering three successive defeats and in his pre-match press conference, Aguirre admitted: "The last few days have been long and tough. We've used our time to correct our errors and we have an excellent spirit and are very keen to vindicate ourselves.
"We feel that the fans deserve to see a performance they will enjoy, with the team showing plenty of attitude."
And he made it clear that his side would not just be watching out for Diego Costa, the top scorer in the Primera Division with 10 goals.
"He's in very good form, but so is everyone else in the team."
He also outlined his plan to outwit Simeone's side: "We can't afford to let them get comfortable on the pitch, we need to stick together and not let them play how they want to."
Striker Sergio Garcia was a doubt for the game after missing training all week, but Aguirre explained: "He's 100% fit, ready to play and I'll decide if he starts or if someone else does. He hasn't had any strange sensations and he's ready to play."
LIVE and exclusive on Sky Sports
Spanish Primera BBVA