• News

Simeone backs struggling Atletico Madrid star Diego Costa

Diego Costa, Atletico Madrid
Getty Images

Diego Simeone still has complete faith in Diego Costa despite another scoreless outing in Atletico Madrid’s 0-0 draw with Celta Vigo in La Liga.

The enthusiasm Atletico fans had over Costa’s return in January 2018 has well and truly died down. Regular injuries, disciplinary and inconsistency problems have denied him the chance to replicate his impressive first spell for Simeone’s side in La Liga.

The numbers, in fact, speak for themselves as Costa has only found the back of the net 12 times in 48 appearances.

And things don’t look like they will improve anytime soon for the former Chelsea striker, who extended his scoreless streak to five competitive matches after drawing another blank as Celta held Atletico to a draw. He even got a yellow card late on for an ugly little brawl with the opposition.

Nevertheless, Simeone retains full confidence in Costa despite the fact he hasn’t scored since March.

“The numbers are what you say, it’s the reality, but I trust Costa,” the Atletico boss told reporters.

“I know he’ll be fit again and it’s a challenge for him. The championship is long and the team needs him.”

All the hype surrounding Atletico’s stunning pre-season form, which included a 7-3 thrashing of Real Madrid, has begun to go away. It comes in light of the club’s struggles in La Liga, with just seven goals in their opening five games.

“I think we started the pre-season at a great level, especially for strikers,” continued Simeone.

“The team looked good and it gives me the feeling that it is normal, when the season starts there are spikes and immediately the goals appear and in others they disappear.

“Hopefully we can get the focus to play back because the situations are there.

“If we do not, we must try to increase the offensive intensity because the goal comes from the rage of wanting to make a goal.”

A trip to 16th-placed side RCD Mallorca awaits Atletico in La Liga on Wednesday.

Diego Costa, Atletico Madrid, Diego Simeone, La Liga, Celta Vigo
MADRID, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 21: Diego Costa of Club Atletico de Madrid in action during the Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and RC Celta de Vigo at Wanda Metropolitano on September 21, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)