Simeone backs Atletico to rebound after cup shock

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FILE PHOTO: La Liga Santander - Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid

MADRID (Reuters) - Diego Simeone has backed his Atletico Madrid side to rebound when they host Athletic Bilbao on Saturday following their shock Copa del Rey exit in midweek.

Atletico sit two points above second-placed Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga table having played two games fewer, however they were embarrassed by third tier Cornella on Wednesday as they were eliminated from Spain's domestic cup.

Some media commentators suggested the defeat could have a negative impact on the club's bid for the La Liga title, however Simeone backed his charges to respond.

"It's never nice to lose and you chew it over at the time, but you need to leave it to one side and focus on the league, where the side are doing really well," he told a news conference.

"We'll look to carry on as we have been doing against a side who have changed coach and is going to get his sides playing in the way he likes, as he has always done."

Poor weather, including snow, in Madrid meant that Simeone's side were unable to train on Friday.

"Yesterday we trained in the cold and snow and could prep for the game.

"Today we weren't able to train and we'll look for the right alternatives so we can go into the game in the best shape we can and the pitch will no doubt be ready to go tomorrow."

There was better news for the Argentine coach with forward Joao Felix and defender Jose Maria Gimenez, both of whom had to be replaced against Cornella with ankle issues, passed fit.

Yet midfielder Hector Herrera will miss out with a thigh problem.

(Reporting by Joseph Walker; Editing by Toby Davis)