Sunday's home win over Las Palmas was the perfect antidote to Atlético's premature elimination from the Copa del Rey, says Fernando Torres, who made a personal contribution to the 3-0 victory with a stunning finish. The result and his 72nd minute strike was also an much needed injection of morale for El Niño as he told reporters after the game.
Torres, happy to win and score
How are you feeling after today's win and getting on the scoresheet?
Every time I get the opportunity to play, especially from the start, and when we win and on top of that I get a goal always makes me happy. I think it's the third time I've been in the staring line-up in LaLiga and obviously, it's not something which I am used to these days. But as I've always said, I have to fight and work hard so that I have a chance of playing the next game, and figure the the starting XI.
How do you deal with not getting much playing time?
With humility. It's something which we footballers have to be prepared for when the moment comes. Every game I play with this club is special for me, because I know it could be my last - or my last goal - hopefully not, but that's the way I look at it. I remain hopeful that I might get a chance in our next game but if I don't, I'll keep working. Looking for excuses does no good for anyone.
Not a normal season
How do you see the squad measuring up in a season plagued by injuries?
It's been an atypical season for us because we haven't been able to sign anyone. The team has esponded well, aside from being knocked out of the Champions League, in which we lacked consistency, but now we have a new competition to look forward to - the Europa League. Being dumped out of the Cup was a blow but we couldn't have hoped for a better reaction that our performance today. When we are experiencing dificulties, we always produce our best side.
We are about to enter the key part of the season - do you see yourself playing an important role in this final run-in to the end of the campaign?
I think the first step is for all of us to want to play an important part and each of us endeavouring to do that individually and competing collectively as a team. Now, the nicest part of the season is about to begin - playing games we have to win, with trophies at stake. I really hope that it's a great final stage of the season for Atleti.
Our passion and desire to win silverware will never fade, says Torres
Atlético are second in the table, are you looking to knock Barça off top spot?
From this club's point of view, we need to demand the maximum and aim as high as possible - that's what we've done during the past few years. So we have to look higher. All we have hope for is to win our games and see where we end up. And of course, now we're in the Europa League and we want to win it. It's vital to maintain ambition - all of us want to win things. We're not thinking that the best is behind us - the best is yet to come.