Simeone: We needed more time before facing Chelsea

Los Rojiblancos' boss admits that preparation leading up to the Super Cup match against Chelsea isn't ideal, and outlines his aims for the new campaign
Diego Simeone is upbeat about Atletico Madrid's season ahead, but admits he is surprised with the scheduling of their fixture against Athletic Bilbao on Monday.

The side from the capital is set for a late kick-off against their Basque counterparts on Monday night.

"When we heard 'Monday at 11pm' it surprised us a bit," explained Simeone. "Not so much the problem of 11pm, but they [the Spanish FA] would have been better to think about giving us a slightly longer preparation heading into the Chelsea game, but it hasn't worked out this way and we cannot do anything."

The Atletico boss thinks that his side hasn't been thought of before the beginning of the season, with their Super Cup match not being taken into account.

"I started to analyse the other day in Valencia at 11pm. It was still very hot, and I thought that it was too early for the start of the league."

Simeone believes however, that the Spanish Supercopa is a reward for last season's Europa League win, and that their current season is yet to truly begin - something that he targets success in.

The 42-year-old Argentine boss is clear in his objectives for this season too.

"Prioritise and improve in the league upon last season. The next step is to get into [the players'] heads, that we have to be better than last season."

Despite it being hard to better their European success last term, Simeone enjoys the thought of what lies ahead.

"I never liked the easy things. I always liked the tough challenges and Atletico Madrid for me is still a challenge.

"It is a challenge to keep going, to stabilise the team. I'd love to cement Atletico into third, fourth or fifth position."