Jan Oblak urged Atletico Madrid to remain positive after their recent wobble extended to a 1-0 defeat against Chelsea in the Champions League.
Oblak was beaten by OIivier Giroud’s magnificent overhead kick in the 68th minute, while his opposite number Edouard Mendy did not have a shot to save over the course of the 90 minutes in Bucharest – Atleti’s scheduled home leg having been rearranged to the Romanian capital due to coronavirus restrictions.
Atletico’s famously robust defence is now without a clean sheet in eight outings, while their lead at the top of LaLiga is down to two points from Real Madrid after one win in four.
“It’s football. Sometimes you have to win, other times lose,” Oblak told reporters.
“We have another game left, we have to raise our heads, also in LaLiga and we have to prepare, be strong and improve game by game.
“We can’t think of anything other than going back [to winning]. Lately, things are going a bit against us.”
Atletico return to LaLiga action with a tricky trip to Villarreal this weekend, while the subsequent derby against Real Madrid looks likely to be a pivotal moment in their season.
“It is a bad moment and on Sunday this is going to change,” Oblak said.
“You have to think positively, the season is long with difficult moments and it is time to show that we are a strong group that is united.
“Only then will we get out of it.”
Despite selecting a starting line-up featuring Joao Felix and Angel Correa in support of Luis Suarez and with Marcos Llorente and Thomas Lemar as wing-backs, Atleti boss Diego Simeone came in for criticism after the game for a perceived negative approach.
1 – Atlético Madrid had just one shot in the first half, their lowest total after 45 minutes in a UEFA Champions League match since the 2016-17 semi-final first leg against Real Madrid (also one). Blockade. pic.twitter.com/vMDwbk8uvv
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 23, 2021
“The plan is always to defend well, no matter what the game plan is,” Oblak added. “We didn’t play badly, we played fine.
“When I got back to the changing room, I saw everyone with their heads high, all convinced we’re going to win.
“We can come back and we’re still first in LaLiga.”