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Sandra Del Estal | 23/01/2013
Diego 'Cholo' Simeone played down the absence of top scorer Radamel Falcao ahead of Atlético Madrid's Copa del Rey quarter final second leg tie against Real Betis on Sunday.
The Colombian injured his hamstring during Atleti's 2-0 win over Levante last Sunday and has been left out of the squad for the trip to the Benito Villamarín stadium.
"Falcao is a very important part of our team, but we also have Diego Costa, Adrián and Raúl García, who can all play in his position and can do it well," said Simeone.
Atlético won the first leg of the tie at the Calderón last week 2-0 but the Argentine coach knows that the result does not guarantee his team a place in the semi-finals.
"Betis have great supporters and they always get behind their team. It will be a tough game for us against a team that play good, explosive football. That's what we are worried about, they are a tough team and we can't let our focus drop for even a minute."
"We won't change our way of playing and we want to continue down the same path, no matter what happens in the game. 90 minutes is a long time, we'll have to manage the match according to how it goes. Betis are a team that tend to create a lot of chances, so we'll have to be alert and try to nullify their play. We have to remain strong and committed."
Simeone named his squad for the game before his press conference. Juanfran is still injured and has been left off the list, as has Falcao. 18-year-old right-back Javier Manquillo, who deputised for Juanfran against Levante and provided the assist for Adrián's opening goal, has been recalled.
Atlético squad to face Real Betis:
Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois, Sergio Asenjo
Defenders: Joao Miranda, Cata Díaz, Diego Godín, Filipe Luis; Jorge Pulido, Domingo Cisma
Midfielders: Mario Suárez, Tiago Mendes, Gabi Fernández, Emre Belozoglu, Koke, Cristian 'Cebolla' Rodríguez, Arda Turan, Raúl García;
Forwards: Diego Costa, Adrián López