Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone rejects claims of violent play ahead of Madrid derby
Madrid, Feb 7 (IANS) Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has said his side won't change its way of play despite accusations of at times being excessively violent in its style of football.
Speaking to the press on Friday ahead of the sixth Madrid derby of the season against Real Madrid, Simeone was asked about the aggressive style of play used by his side which has seen them defeat Real Madrid twice and remain unbeaten in their other games this season, reports Xinhua.
"We don't know how to play any other way, but we are not going to chance, because we are a side that plays intense football," he replied when asked about whether he believed Atletico were a violent side.
"Every team has its style of play and what makes football attractive is that you can win in different ways. We have our style as a result of the players that we have and because of the club's history. Atletico has always been a battling side which has played intense football and looked to play on the break," he said.
Despite their positive record against Real Madrid this season, Atletico welcome their rivals to the Vicente Calderon seven points behind the league leaders and a defeat would leave Simeone's men 10 points behind and virtually out of the title race.
"We are only thinking about this game, we are not thinking about the end of the season," he commented.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti also addressed the press ahead of the game and after confirming that central defender Sergio Ramos would be out for around six weeks with a torn hamstring, he said his side would not be intimidated by Atletico's style of football.
"We're not afraid," he said. "Atletico work very hard, particularly in defence, but we are thinking about how to pull them out of position."
The Madrid coach admitted his side had not performed well in their King's Cup exit to Atletico, but said the league was different.
"We're in the most important part of the season and it's a derby. All of that creates a lot of excitement and expectation. We are preparing well and we are confident," said Ancelotti, who expressed his confidence in victory on Saturday.