Getafe v Atlético Madrid: Preview
MADRID, February 18 (Primera Liga) - Atletico Madrid coach Pepe Murcia believes his side still have a way to go to win back the respect of opposition teams as he prepares his side to face local rivals Getafe on Sunday.
Atletico have won four games on the trot to put them back in the top half of the table, but face a tricky derby against Getafe, who would love to complete the double over their more illustrious neighbours.
Argentinian defender Mariano Pernia scored from a free-kick in the Vicente Calderon to earn Getafe a 1-0 win earlier in the season, but they have struggled of late and currently lie in 11th place, two points behind ninth-placed Atletico.
``One of the objectives I have set for the side is to win back the respect of the rest of the league,'' said Murcia.
``We are getting it back little by little and we hope to put the club back where we want it to be soon.
``Everyone is committed to this task and we are determined to play with character and the commitment that has been the hallmark of the club in the past.''
Murcia went on to deny that there was an excess of euphoria in the side after their recent run of form.
``We go into this game feeling confident because we have all worked very hard to get ourselves into this position of stability,'' he said.
``We aren't overconfident. We face the game with the same humble outlook as before and are simply looking for consistency.''
Murcia loses Colombian centre-back Luis Perea to suspension and has a doubt over right-back Juan Velasco, who is struggling with injury, while Argentinian winger Luciano Galletti is out for a month with a torn muscle.
Getafe defensive midfielder and former Atletico player Diego Rivas insists his side are eager to put one over their city rivals.
``I have nothing to prove to Atletico after my spell at the club,'' said Rivas. ``All I am interested in is winning the derby to make us the second side in the city behind Real.
``In my role it is vital to try to prevent Atletico's playmaker Ariel Ibagaza from doing well. He's in good form at present so I will have my work cut out.''
Some indifferent performances of late have seen an element of friction develop between Getafe and their fans as they have drawn two and lost one of their last three games.
But Rivas believes that will all disappear in the atmosphere of a derby.
``I know a lot of our fans also support Atletico, but I am sure they will get behind us and make it difficult for the visitors,'' he added.
Coach Bernd Schuster has lost striker Ivan Riki and midfielder Fabio Celestini to injury, and cannot play Cosmin Contra due to a clause in his loan deal from Atletico.
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