Diego Simeone says every player needs a different amount of time to adapt to the “feeling” of playing for Atletico Madrid, amid continued struggles for his record signing Joao Felix.
Joao Felix, a €126million addition from Benfica in July, has scored just twice in 15 LaLiga appearances, adding a solitary assist.
The Portugal international has gone 659 minutes in the top-flight without scoring a goal or providing an assist and, ahead of Thursday’s Supercopa de Espana against Barcelona in Saudi Arabia, Simeone was asked about the 20-year-old.
“Each player has a different personality, every player needs a different amount of time,” Simeone told reporters, preferring to answer generally than discuss Joao Felix at length.
“We try to succeed in getting each one of [the new players] to experience Atletico with enthusiasm and emotion, because apart from their talent they need commitment.
“When the feeling of playing for Atletico appears, things come naturally to everyone, just like [Stefan] Savic when he arrived and Koke.
“I don’t speak of names, but of the way of living the football that we have had [at Atletico Madrid] for a long time.”
Joao Felix’s struggles aside, Atletico come into the game in good form after recording four consecutive victories.
However, they have not beaten Barcelona in nine attempts across all competitions.
Simeone added: “We know the rival’s virtues, as they have always had them. Their attacking play and players’ individual moves end up breaking any collective work of their opponent.
“We go into the game with good momentum, with things to improve. Playing against the best in the world makes you stronger because you have to turn on the alarms from the start and the team grows and improves.
“It will be different from the league games because there is a direct elimination and only one result, which is to win.
“We understand it as an opportunity to continue growing as a club and team and to make our fans excited.”