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“I wouldn’t look for excuses”: Simeone discusses Atlético’s draw against Athletic

Quotes from Cholo following Saturday’s result.

Club Atletico de Madrid v Athletic Club - La Liga Santander Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

On João Félix’s red card and possible suspension

Simeone: “I have no doubt that he entered the game very well, which is what matters to me. The final play reflects that he leaves the ball behind and is cautioned by the referee. I keep the good parts in mind for when he returns to the field.”

On what he would say to Félix following the incident

“I had the same reaction a number of times, and it was not relevant to what the game asked for, and I understood that over time. It is an episode that can happen to any player. The referee understood that he had to send him off, surely if the gesture is made by another player it wouldn’t be interpreted in the same way.”

Club Atletico de Madrid v Athletic Club - La Liga Santander Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

On the number of yellow and red cards Atlético Madrid have seen early this season

“There are many yellows. You have to look for sensibility in the moment. I don’t think they are all bookable offenses. You can speak (to the referee) with respect and education, to understand what is happening.”

On his chat with Gil Manzano

“I told him to be calm, he told me that I can’t tell him to be calm because he is calm. He is a great referee, he has had very good performances. The context within each game creates different feelings (around a referee’s decisions).”

On Atlético’s lack of goalscoring

“I wouldn’t look for excuses, it’s football. It can happen, and I trust the team and the players we have. We will work so that these names do what they have always done, which is produce goals.”

Club Atletico de Madrid v Athletic Club - La Liga Santander Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

On Atlético’s play itself

“I really liked the team, although we didn’t have so many chances. De Paul grew, Lodi improved, Kondogbia is settling down, although he suffered a blow. We went down a man and the team did not wilt. These are the steps to follow for what is coming.

“Today we faced a team that will be important in the league, they have been demonstrating it all season and our second half was very good until Llorente hit the post.

“I’ll keep the best takeaways I can. Our playing speed increased, we defended very high in front of a fast team that counterattacks well. (We have to) continue working and improving.”