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Simeone encouraged by Atlético's 'solid step'

Diego Simeone called Club Atlético de Madrid's 1-0 win at San Siro a "solid step" towards the quarter-finals, but AC Milan's Clarence Seedorf still insisted: "We can do it."

Simeone encouraged by Atlético's 'solid step'
Simeone encouraged by Atlético's 'solid step' ©UEFA.com

Clarence Seedorf, Milan coach
I think everybody saw what my players did tonight, and I am proud of what they did, really. In the last 20 minutes we were tired and we were also a bit unlucky with their goal, I have to say. Balotelli is improving match by match but it takes time for strikers to adapt to each other. They have not played many games together. It will be tough in the return leg, I know, but I also remember I have had some fun in that stadium.

We really respect Atlético, but we can do it. The fans were great tonight, I have heard my players and it seems they believe we can go through. I believe we can do it too. My players are trying to improve, they are working hard, and I see the team spirit growing. My past experience tells me that team spirit can make you go far in the competition. This is the starting point for everything. I hope we can beat them in the return leg also because we are the last Italian team still in the competition.

Diego Simeone, Atlético coach
The game began well. The first ten minutes were good for us, we were playing in their half. However, after one moment where we lost possession the team started to lose ground. Because Milan are a great team, they came close to making us pay.

After the break, we changed and were much more aggressive which changed the outcome of the game. With five players across the middle, and Mario Suárez playing deep, we were able to deal better with their attacks. You also saw that we worked harder in the second half. They came at us playing an offensive game, using the wings, and they are a team that, whichever side they attack you from, can cause problems.

In the first half, our goalkeeper's performance was fundamental. In the second, it was Diego Costa who made the difference by taking advantage of the chance that came to him. We know it will still be difficult [in the second leg]. We have taken a solid step but there is so much still to play for at the Vicente Calderón.