Simeone presents united Atleti after Savic-Ortega bust-up reports

By Sports Desk March 15, 2019

Diego Simeone insisted Atletico Madrid remain a united group after reports of infighting emerged in the wake of the Champions League loss to Juventus.

Atletico's dreams of contesting the final at their Wanda Metropolitano home were trampled on Tuesday as they surrendered a two-goal first-leg advantage in a 3-0 defeat in Turin.

Reports in Spanish media have since claimed defender Stefan Savic and fitness coach Oscar Ortega had a falling out in the days leading up to the trip to Italy.

The pair are alleged to have engaged in a confrontation in the changing room following Atletico's win over Leganes last weekend, an incident Simeone did not directly deny.

"Inside the team we're all on the same page and will keep going in the same path," Simeone said.

"I won't make any statement about [the rumours]. This is like a family, everything stays inside.

"If there's something to solve we will solve it on the inside and if there's nothing to solve we won't, but after a defeat it's normal these kind of things show up.

"People try to unsettle the team, but that's normal when you win or lose or play a final.

"After a Europa League final two players were angry with me and nobody found about it and nobody spoke about it because we won."

Simeone admitted the meek loss to Juve has "created lots of criticism" and attributed the response to the increase in expectations under his stewardship.

The Argentine, who in February extended his contract through to 2022, said he feels "questioned" after each match, having attracted scrutiny for the defensive tactics that failed to contain Cristiano Ronaldo.

Atletico CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin spoke out in support of the head coach, reaffirming his expectation for the new deal to be upheld.

"I fully trust our sports project and Simeone," Gil Marin said. "I offered Diego the contract renewal the week following the 4-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

"And it was not to go against the current, nor to thank him for these seven years. It was because I am convinced that we will enjoy the next three years as we have been doing so far.

"I'm sure Diego will complete a decade at Atletico Madrid that will change our history."

The Rojiblancos return to LaLiga action away to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

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