Substitutes made the difference - Simeone
Diego Simeone hailed the impact of his substitutes after Atletico Madrid battled to a 1-0 victory over lowly Alaves on Saturday.
Fernando Torres came off the bench to score the winner on a frustrating evening for Atleti, in a match that was short on goalscoring opportunities.
Angel Correa's introduction for the second half gave the hosts more attacking impetus and the winner arrived within five minutes of the introduction of Torres and Yannick Carrasco.
"The team improved with the changes," said Simeone. "It is important to have the group as it is. The guys who are not playing have done very well and have shown it.
"We have room for improvement. People want to keep growing and that is good as a team. What has happened is left behind.
"We are pleased with the squad because it was important. We're now working for the games ahead, which will be as difficult as today."
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The result lifted Atleti above Valencia into second, but Simeone will not get carried away with anyone who now tips his side as title contenders.
"Those who now see us as title candidates are the same who wrote us off seven weeks ago," he commented.
"We are not thrilled when they speak highly of us, nor are we sad when they do wrong."
Torres also acknowledged the difficulty of securing a result that extended Atleti's winning run to 20 league matches, adding: "Above all we had to win. We're on a good run and we want to continue.
"It's not easy, every game is more complicated."