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Simeone: "I don't care what people say about Diego Costa"

The Atlético boss defended his controversial Brazilian forward, who was sent off on Thursday against Viktoria Plzen and got into an altercation with Sergio Ramos last weekend.

Diego Simeone has expressed his unconditional support for Atlético Madrid forward Diego Costa, who was sent off on Thursday against Viktoria Plzen and last weekend got into a scrap with Sergio Ramos during the Madrid derby.

"I love Diego Costa," said Simeone ahead of his side's home game against Deportivo La Coruña on Sunday.

"I hope he has a good game tomorrow, because he will play. He's a vital player for us, we believe in him and I don't care what other people say about him."

The return of Filipe Luis: "His return to the side allows us to play in a different way. We don't have any other wide players like him."

The state of the team: "The team is in good shape, apart from the injury to Cebolla, who may return next week. We've been able to rotate a lot in the Europa League and this says a lot about the quality of the squad."

Deportivo: "We know all about Valerón and we know he can change the game in a second. I can't say whether or not Depor have defensive problems. I know it's been hard for their coach because he's missing players but they're very strong in midfield and attack and they are dangerous on the right wing."

The defeat to Plzen: "We finished second in our group because we played really badly in the first half. but we deserved to equalise in the second half. As always, the best cure for a defeat is a win, but we know it'll be a difficult game. The team need to continue on the right track, play the game with intensity and we're going to play to our strengths and cancel out Deportivo."

Estadísticas AS.com