Atletico Madrid coach Abel Resino insists he won’t quit despite a run of one win in 10 games that has left his team struggling in the Spanish league and on the verge of elimination from the Champions League.
Resino watched Atletico lose 4-0 at Chelsea on Wednesday to stay bottom of its Champions League group, just three days after a 3-0 loss to Osasuna confirmed his team’s worst start to a Spanish season in 15 years.
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The former Atletico goalkeeper said he will “never give up. Only the mediocre give up the fight.”
But with Atletico 15th in the Spanish standings after just one win, pressure is growing on Resino.
“Some things you can’t explain in football,” Resino said. “Against Osasuna and Chelsea, we created chances. Whichever side the coin falls, it falls on the wrong side for us at the moment.”
Atletico enjoyed a vibrant opening half hour Wednesday, hitting three on-target shots to none by Chelsea. Uruguay striker Diego Forlan, who failed to impress in England while playing for Manchester United, was particularly dangerous.
But Chelsea eventually dominated the midfield through the destructive power of Michael Essien and bustling energy of Frank Lampard and went ahead in the 41st before hitting three more goals in the second half – the last of them an own goal by Luis Perea.
The loss left Atletico bottom of Group D and likely to need three wins from its remaining three matches to progress.
But Resino is just as concerned about his team’s form in Spain, where Atletico has points only from a win over Zaragoza and three draws after its seven matches.
“I’m not just thinking about the group in the Champions League,” Resino said. “I’m thinking about the league back home. When you are down and confidence is low, things go against you.”
But Resino seems at a loss to account for the dip in form compared to last season, when Atletico finished fourth to qualify for the Champions League.
“Last season, we were scoring for fun, at least two goals a game,” he said. “But football is a harsh game. I would say that over the game we had as many clear chances as Chelsea. The ball just didn’t want to go into the net.
“It’s not my job to say who is to blame; it’s my job to find solutions.”