Diego Simeone believes this LaLiga campaign has been his toughest at Atletico Madrid, but the team now looks set to secure Champions League qualification again.
Since becoming Atleti coach in 2011, Simeone has overseen a title triumph and two runs to the Champions League final, but his side have had to fight hard for a place in the top four this term.
After a 3-1 win over title-chasing Sevilla on Sunday, Atleti are seven points clear of fifth-placed Villarreal, prompting Simeone to reflect on a demanding campaign.
“We can talk about ourselves because we had a really tough end of the last season – I have always said that,” he told a post-match news conference.
Simeone hopes his side can close in on securing a top-four spot and took encouragement from beating a third-placed Sevilla side who he feels are enjoying a “great season”.
“It’s clear we have a seven-point gap to fifth because Villarreal and Real Sociedad couldn’t win and that’s important for us,” he added.