Simeone keeping Atletico focused

BY foxsports • October 20, 2012

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is not allowing himself to look any further ahead than Sunday when they travel to Real Sociedad.

Atletico Madrid may sit second behind only Barcelona in the Primera Division table, but manager Diego Simeone is not allowing himself to look any further ahead than Sunday's trip to Estadio Anoeta to face Real Sociedad.

Atletico have won their last six league games and only trail Barca on goal difference, with both sides five points clear of third-placed Malaga.

Atletico have not won the La Liga title since 1996, and their strong start, allied to their 4-1 hammering of European champions Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup, has many long-suffering fans daring to dream of a tilt at the title.

Having beaten Sociedad 4-0 in this fixture last term, Simeone's side are heavily fancied to make it seven wins in a row.

But the Argentinian said: "They are a team that plays well, especially at home. They are very direct, and are dangerous from set-piece situations, especially with (Antoine) Griezmann, Xabi Prieto and (Imanol) Agirretxe, who are major players in those moments.

"(Asier) Illarramendi is effective in midfield with his defensive play but we will have to see if they can recover from their defeat to Betis.

"We see it as a hard and difficult game and we will have to show great ability and personality against an opponent who is strong at home."

He added: "I try not to look or backward or forward. I never forget that we are a club where we are required to be competitive, which is why I stay quiet on the future.

"I like to watch a team that knows it is going to face a great rival and remain competitive and that is our goal on Sunday."

But Simeone will have to do without Arda Turan this weekend as the Turkish midfielder recovers from a hamstring problem.

He said: "Turan will return when he is ready, these things can happen. It's part of football. We will work to have him available as soon as possible."