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Three games into his tenure as coach at the Vicente Calderon, the Argentine has overseen two wins and a draw, and was particularly pleased with the effort on show at Real Sociedad

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone says that he has been impressed by the effort put in by his players as he settles into his new job.

The capital-city side crushed Real Sociedad 4-0 in San Sebastian on Saturday with a hat-trick from Radamel Falcao and an Adrian strike, and the Argentine identified energetic starts to each half as a key factor in the win.

“We started strongly in the first-half and in the second, and because of that we created situations to score,” Simeone told AS.

“We prepared very well for the game and the players put in a great effort: Adrian, Falcao, Arda Turan, Diego, Juanfran and even Gabi, who is more attacking than defensive.

“Everyone has prioritised the team and the commitment highlights the individuals. Then Paulo Assuncao and Koke came on and also did well, and the fourth goal was nice.

“Everyone is good and understands the message,” he added with satisfaction.

Asked if the margin of victory, and the 3-0 defeat of Villarreal before it, contradicts his reputation as a defensive-minded coach, Simeone played a straight bat.

“These are observations after the game – I did not change when we drew 0-0 with Malaga,” he insisted.

“What I want is that the players get the message quickly.”

Colombian forward Falcao netted three goals for Atletico at the Estadio Munipicial de Anoeta lining up alongside Adrian in the forward line, and the coach was quizzed on whether or not the former Porto marksman was best suited to playing with a strike partner.

“I knew Falcao at River and there he played behind Sebastian Abreu, moving well all over the attack,” he observed.

“In Colombia he was the spearhead and Porto played with two strikers.

“What’s good for us and Falcao is that Adrian’s work is fantastic for the team, not only in attack but also when we defend and we have players in the centre of the pitch.”

The victory on Saturday evening moves Atletico to seventh in La Liga.

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