10 April 2012
Diego Jabalquinto / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Assistant coach Aitor Karanka addressed the media ahead of Wednesday's 22:00 CET derby with Atletico Madrid.
"Given the situation they're in, Atletico need points in order to play in Europe next season. This need for points and the quality of their players will make the game difficult. There are fewer games left each week and taking points is growing increasingly important. We're fine and our players are in top form, looking forward to playing. We know how important it is to take three points."
"We believe in the work we do each day. We work to thrill Madridismo and I don't think anyone doubts Jose Mourinho, his coaching staff or the players. We have great faith in our players, we do not question the work we're doing and our results speak for themselves. Sometimes you win a match, but the work sometimes isn't enough to win, despite it being good. I've been thinking this for a year and a half and neither I, nor anyone here, will change the way we think. We are delighted with the team, with how it plays and with how it behaves. We work every day to win as the great team Real Madrid are, as the great coaching staff Jose Mourinho has, and as the great players the club has."
"Atletico are in need of points. They are a good team and their coach, Simeone, has character. All this will make the match complicated. We've done well in recent years at their stadium, but it will still be difficult. There's been a change in coach and Simeone had character when he was a player. He's got a great history with the team's fanbase and he's instilled that in the team. They've earned good results with him, reaching the Europa League semifinals. That union has probably been the greatest change since his arrival."
"I don't know if what you mean by loosing freshness on our part has anything to do with winning 5-1 in Pamplona or 3-0 on the road in the Champions League. I don't believe we're tired. Those games in which people said we were tired saw us performing better after half-time. The team played to win in the three games it drew; it just didn't happen. Our players are in marvelous form."
"The support of Madridistas has been basic in our great results. The support they gave us in our last match shows the unity between team and fanbase, which will play a key role till season's end. The support of the crowd always gives us more. They know how much is at stake for the team, and it showed with their support the other day and with how they applauded as the team left the pitch."