IANS

Copa del Rey match chance for second-string players: Atletico coach

Madrid, Dec 4 (IANS) Atletico Madrid coach Diego Pablo Simeone on Tuesday said that his side’s upcoming second leg of the Copa del Rey match against Sant Andreu would be a good chance for players who do not normally appear on the pitch to get playing time.

Given the absence of Atletico’s injured striker Diego Costa, the Argentine coach pointed out that forwards like Gelson Martins and Nikola Kalinic should make use of appearing in Wednesday’s round of 32 match, reports Efe.

“If I were in their place, I would be very excited,” Simeone stressed.

The coach recalled that Gelson previously appeared in the Copa del Rey and scored the winner in his side’s 1-0 away victory over Sant Andreu in the first leg.

Injured Costa was absent from Tuesday’s training session and was set to have an operation on his left foot this week after an old bone injury resurfaced in November.

Asked about whether he plans to sign new players because of Costa’s injury, Simeone explained that he, in principle, had not discussed this issue with the management of the Spanish club, emphasising that he relies on the forwards of his current squad and has several options to fill that gap.

–IANS
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