Koke calls for unity and hard work amidst the difficult moment Atletico Madrid are living

Atletico Madrid are in the midst of a difficult moment. They’re currently 17 points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid and two points behind fourth-placed Barcelona. The took a beating off the latter at Camp Nou last Sunday, losing a thriller 4-2.

But Koke, Atletico’s captain and leader, has assured that now is the time for the team to band together and fight through this rough patch. Finishing in the top four is essential to the club and they’re also still alive in the Champions League. They face Manchester United, also in crisis, in the last 16.

“The team is strong, wanting to play, to change this situation, to win games,” Koke said in comments carried by Diario Sport. “Yes, it’s true that the other day we were hurt by the Barcelona game. It was against a direct rival for a Champions League place. But we have to continue. The more together, the more united and strong we are, the more likely it is we’ll make it out of this situation. We’ve done it many times before.

“Work and unity is paramount to move this situation forward. We’re fifth at the moment. But we’ll work and remain united as we always have done, within the club, the coaching staff, the players, the fans. If we are united, we work and we’re humble, we’re sure that we’re going to move forward with this situation.

“We’ve always been a family and we’ll continue to be one. It’s what we’ve done that’s led us to achieve all our successes, like winning La Liga last season. In the end, we demand more because we’ve won so many things and made it normal, that happens to all teams. There are going to be streaks and potholes. The best way to kill this streak and escape this pothole is to win.”

Atletico welcome Getafe to the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday evening in a game of colossal importance. If they win, they can momentarily go into the top four as Barcelona don’t play until the following evening. After that they face Levante and then Osasuna before welcoming United to the Spanish capital.

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