Diego Simeone said he is not worried about Barcelona and Real Madrid, instead concerned by Sevilla after Atletico Madrid lost further ground in LaLiga.
Atletico suffered a 1-0 defeat to Barcelona, who prevailed in Madrid thanks to Lionel Messi’s stunning 86th-minute goal on Sunday.
The result left Atletico languishing in sixth, six points behind LaLiga champions Barca and Madrid, and five adrift of third-placed Sevilla.
“Barcelona and Real Madrid don’t worry me,” Atletico head coach Simeone told reporters. “Sevilla do, it’s now five points.”
Atletico looked the better of the two sides for most parts of Sunday’s showdown in the Spanish capital.
However, Atletico were unable to take advantage – Simeone’s side managing just 16 goals in 15 league matches this season.
It comes after an off-season of change, which saw Antoine Griezmann, Diego Godin, Rodri, Filipe Luis, Juanfran and Lucas Hernandez leave, and the likes of Joao Felix, Marcos Llorente, Mario Hermoso, Kieran Trippier and Felipe come in.
And Simeone called for patience as he said: “The team gave everything, the players are doing what the coach is asking of them.
“Change will come and, instead of hitting the post, the ball will go in. We have to stay patient and know that we’re in a year of transition.
“I’m the least patient person, we have to understand the enormous change that the team has gone through, but we need time to improve.
“We’re competing in all the matches we play in. I have the strength and balance to know that the league season is long.”
On Atletico’s lack of goals, Simeone added: “We can’t argue with the numbers. We’re busy trying to find solutions.
“The only way is to create chances and we did that. Joao [Felix] had rhythm, [Angel] Correa was very good.
“It’s been eight years and it’s the moment to push to achieve what the club are looking for.”