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Simeone calls for Atletico to ‘evolve and change’

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone said Monday his team needs to “evolve and change” to prevent opponents from designing specific plans to frustrate the Spanish champions.

“We’re coming off a season in which teams got to know us and they’re working as a result on our strong points,” Simeone told a news conference ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League match at AC Milan.

“We will have to evolve, change and look for other ways when these situations appear,” Simeone said, two days after Atletico suffered a 1-0 loss to Alaves, their first defeat of the campaign. 

Atletico have managed only two wins from their last six games in all competitions and Saturday’s loss was the third time in four matches that they have failed to score.

“In several of the games we’ve played the other team has looked to take the space away from us,” Simeone added. 

The Argentine urged his players “to maintain the aggressiveness that made us competitive” after an unconvincing start to a challenging Group B that also includes Liverpool and Porto.

Atletico drew their opening game 0-0 at home to Porto two weeks ago.

“It will be a hard game and we will have to try and take it into areas where we can hurt them,” Simeone said of the trip to the San Siro.

Captain Koke and France international Thomas Lemar are expected to return from injury, while Joao Felix is available after serving a domestic two-match ban.

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