Atletico Madrid's Tiago sets sights on Champions League places

The Portuguese midfielder is confident his side can still salvage the season, despite sitting at the wrong end of the table after the first half of the campaign
Atletico Madrid midfielder Tiago believes it is still possible for his side to finish in one of the top La Liga places.

The Vicente Calderon outfit sit 11th in the league table, 23 points off leaders Real Madrid, following a dismal start to the season that culminated with the sacking of coach Gregorio Manzano.

Tiago reckons his side face an uphill task, but is confident that his team hold all the cards to move up in the table.

"We have a very good squad, filled with players with a lot of experience and quality," he told the club's website.

"Whether it is because of our playing system or something else, things did not work. But changes have taken place and we are ready to improve.

"We have six months left in the league to get a place in the Champions League."

Atletico's goalless draw at Malaga last weekend brings hope that the club will finally improve their record on the road, but Tiago noted there is still much work to do.

"We need to be more regular and confident away from home, where we need to be a more mature and aggressive team," he continued.

"There is no easy match in La Liga, so we have to give our best in every march, otherwise we cannot get results."

Atletico host Villarreal on Sunday in this weekend's encounter.