MADRID: Despite a seven-match scoring drought, Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann insisted on Wednesday he is unconcerned ahead of Saturday’s big derby against Real Madrid.
The France international had averaged more than a goal every two games in his previous three seasons for Atletico but has managed just three in 13 matches in all competitions this season.
“I’m not concerned, I’m delighted with my form. Eventually, the ball will go in,” said the 26-year-old in an interview on the official La Liga website.
“The only time I’ve felt the pressure was when I held my daughter in my arms…”
“But otherwise, (scoring) goals is what we’re used to doing. Scoring is what we know how to do, and it will go in.”
Griezmann’s last Atleti goal was a penalty against Chelsea in the Champions League at the end of September.
However, on Friday last week, he did net a smart volley for France in a 2-0 friendly victory over Wales.
“During the week every shot goes in, but during the match, where it counts, it’s more difficult for us,” he said.
Atletico may be unbeaten in La Liga this season but they’ve drawn five of their 11 matches and sit fourth, eight points off runaway leaders Barcelona and behind Real, their bitter city rivals, on goal difference.
And while Barca and Valencia have bagged 30 goals each already, Atletico have mustered just 16.
“We’re struggling to score, to put together victories. At the back, I think we’re solid but we’re short of luck up front.”
The ‘Colchoneros’ will host Real in the first city derby at their new Wanda Metropolitano stadium, having left the historic Vicente Calderon home at the end of last season.
“We have to win the first derby at the Wanda,” added Griezmann.
“When our fans push, it’s more difficult for our opponents.”