We still believe we can finish fourth, insists Simeone

The Rojiblancos have fallen six points behind fourth-placed Malaga with just three games to go, but their Argentine coach is refusing to throw in the towel
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone insists that he has not given up hope of qualifying for next season's Champions League and has revealed that his players will fight right until their final game of the season to realise their dream.

The Rojiblancos currently sit sixth in La Liga, six points behind fourth-placed Malaga with just three rounds of the season remaining.

However, while Simeone acknowledged ahead of Wednesday's clash with Real Sociedad at the Vicente Calderon that Atletico are not in an advantageous position, he is not even considering throwing in the towel.

"We still have our chances of qualifying for the Champions League and until the referee blows for full-time or until we finish the last game of the season against Villarreal, we will believe that we can do it," the Argentine coach is quoted as saying by El Mundo Deportivo.

"When I arrived in December, this was only an imagined scenario, but today it is real.

"So hopefully tomorrow [Wednesday] will see a full stadium because the players deserve it. We need that positive energy to be strong and give our all in the remaining games, of which there are so few."

Simeone also revealed that he has been inspired by the way in which both Zaragoza and Sporting have launched spirited late bids to beat the drop.

"Everyone had claimed that Zaragoza and Sporting were dead but now they are fighting back," he pointed out.

"That taught me that you must play right until the end of the championship."

Atletico's must-win match against Sociedad kicks off at 18.00CET in the Spanish capital.