Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is backing striker David Villa to end his goal drought sooner rather than later.
The Spain international arrived at the Vicente Calderon this summer and bagged two goals in his first five games, but has failed to live up to his impressive scoring pedigree since, with his last striker coming on September 14.
Simeone retains the utmost confidence in his veteran forward, though, and says he will stick with the former Barcelona man in Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Austria Vienna.
“David Villa lives for goals and I’m sure they’ll come,” the Argentine told reporters. “It’s only a matter of time and he’s got my full backing.
“[Tuesday’s game] will be a difficult test against a team who are well-drilled. They also have some outstanding individual players in Stankovic and [Florian] Mader.
“They have a solid defence and will be tough to break down. We can’t afford to underestimate them.”
Atletico have started the group stage with consecutive victories, while Austria Vienna have just one point from their first two games, but coach Nenad Bjelica is focusing on the positives.
“Our defensive display will be the key to success," he mused. "We have to take the positives from the first two games and improve on where we’ve fallen short.
“I want to see a determined, aggressive, disciplined and well-organised Austria side and players fighting for the result, for their club.
“Atletico are a top team with great players. They have a great coach, one of the best in the world. I expect them to play their typical 4-4-2 formation.
“Our midfield and defence need to get close to the likes of Diego Costa and David Villa. If they get enough space, they are very dangerous and can decide the game by themselves.”
The two sides will face off for the first time since 1970, but the coaches have faced off before during their respective playing careers in Spain.