Diego Simeone was happy with Atlético Madrid’s first preseason game, a somewhat boring 0-0 draw against Toluca in Mexico.
“It’s the first game we have played and that showed in our legs, where it was difficult at times,” Simeone said. “We are leaving the important first phase of preseason work and obviously we need time to loosen up.
“Once we got onto the field, however, we compete and that is something this group has in that they compete, whether it be a friendly or an official game,” he said, highlighting how tired his side looked after working hard in the Segoviano heat to prepare for the preseason.
Simeone also says the style of this team will not be lost, and he saw what he’s always seen from his Atlético side.
“A compact team, solid with the lines close together and always waiting for the carelessness of the opposition,” he said.
Toluca’s attitude was a factor in the stalemate, but Simeone said his side adapted well despite the fact that the fans didn’t get to see any goals.
Simeone also had time to praise Augusto Fernández for his work and the path he has taken as he recovers form after a knee injury that ruined his 2016/17 season.
“Augusto is growing and working very well, today he played in the first half and added much-needed balance, it’s clear that he needs time,” Simeone said. “The path he is taking is secure and strong as he continues to grow. We will see him improve during training, and that’s important for him and for all of us as we need him on the field.”