Atletico coach Simeone says he'll rest some starters for Copa del Rey opener
Madrid : Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone revealed on Monday that he was planning to rest some of his regular starters for the upcoming Copa del Rey match against fourth-tier Spanish league football club Sant Andreu, while giving other players a chance to prove their mettle.
The Argentine coach is looking to use Tuesday's match to build on his side's 4-0 UEFA Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund and the 2-0 La Liga win against Real Sociedad, reports Efe.
"We've got two games in which we have to compete with focus, and where the boys who haven't had as many minutes can find those minutes that they and the coach need to see positive things," Simeone said at a press conference.
"The game is important. We have to take tomorrow's match in the direction we want it to go and I hope that the boys that aren't playing as much have a good game," he added.
"Those who've had less minutes need to get involved and understand the club's needs, and to show the talent that has brought them to Atletico," he added.
However, Simeone declined to comment on the situation of Portuguese winger Gelson Martins, who has made only three appearances with the Rojiblancos since joining the club over the summer.
The coach said expectations in the Copa del Rey were high for Martins, Croatian forward Nikola Kalinic and Spanish left winger Víctor "vitolo" Machin.
Earlier Monday, French striker Antoine Griezmann took a rest day and did not join the team's training session, while injured defender Jose Maria Gimenez was still out and Diego Godin did recovery work.
Defender Lucas Hernandez remained in the gym Monday, after discomfort forced him to retire at the half during the game against Real Sociedad.