Simeone: Quality not quantity important for Atleti’s squad

Diego Simeone wants Atletico Madrid’s fringe players to continue making key contributions when given their opportunities.

Atleti appear to have greater strength in depth this season and their bench for Monday’s draw with Valencia included Jose Gimenez, Gelson Martins and Thomas Partey.

Vitolo, one of the players Simeone brought on, has suffered knee-ligament damage while talk persists over a move to Paris Saint-Germain for Filipe Luis, who has been included in the squad to face Rayo Vallecano in LaLiga.

Simeone has promised to stick to a squad-rotation policy and stressed even those given fleeting opportunities from the bench have the chance to make major impacts.

“Everyone is going to play,” he said at his press conference.

“Everyone will have chances and minutes.

“Like I’ve always said, in football the most important thing is the quality of minutes not the quantity. Thomas came on in the match against Real Madrid for extra time. He stole the ball, passed it to Saul [Niguez] and it was a goal.

“What’s more important? Play those 15 minutes well or the previous 70 poorly? It’s the eternal debate in football. I prefer footballers who understand the quality of minutes make the difference.

“Hopefully we can keep this up, which is what has allowed us to keep competing how we’ve been doing over the past few years.”

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