Racing Santander vs Atletico Madrid preview - Flores: Replacements are up to the job

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Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2011 by PA

Atletico Madrid boss Quique Sanchez Flores insists his team are strong enough to cope without four key players for Tuesday's Primera Division trip to Racing Santander.

Defenders Luis Perea and Diego Godin miss out through injury, while striker Diego Costa is suspended and winger Juanfran Torres absent following the death of his father.

"We have several players missing, but we will substitute them with others who can be relied upon, who can offer guarantees," Sanchez Flores said.

Atletico lost 3-0 at home to Malaga on Saturday and are now down in seventh place with three games remaining, but Sanchez Flores insists there is no point dwelling on that defeat.

"It's not the time for lamenting the points we have dropped at home or away," he said.

"We have to make sure we qualify for the Europa League."

To do that, Atletico need a top-six finish, although it remains to be seen whether Sanchez Flores will be at the club to lead them in the competition next season.

"I don't like mysteries, I'll talk about my future any day now," he said.

While Atletico have 52 points, Racing are nine worse off in 12th place.

That total may be enough to secure survival after Saturday's important 3-2 win at Hercules, but coach Marcelino Garcia Toral is not taking anything for granted.

"We are still suffering," he said. "We still need points, so there will be no relaxing yet."

Gonzalo Colsa and Oscar Serrano are both sidelined for the hosts.

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