28 September 2013
Real Madrid will play against Atletico in the Santiago Bernabeu what will be the first derby of the season between the teams and Carlo Ancelotti appeared in the press room prior to the match. The Real Madrid coach said: "It is true that against Elche we played badly, but this is another match. We have an important match against a team that are playing well and have won every match. Since the Copa del Rey match Atletico Madrid have improved a lot. They are more confident and have a very strong team. It will be a good, tough match. We can play well and win it".
The team are full of confidence going into the match that will see two of the league’s unbeaten sides face each other. "The group are very motivated. We've spoken about the match in Elche and now we are fully concentrated on the derby. Atletico are two points in front and we have a great opportunity to go ahead. We have to take it. I'm happy with the professionalism of the players. Occasionally it can happen that you do not play well and it is important to be self-critical and look forward to the next match", said Ancelotti.
About Bale’s participation following his slight injury and the possible inclusion of Marcelo in the team for the match, he said: "With Bale, we are going to see how he is in training. I think he will be available, and if so I will take the decision whether he can start the match or play later on. Marcelo is not available to play". In reference to Coentrao being in the starting eleven and who will start at centre-back, he explained: "I cannot say because it depends on lots of things. Coentrao played well against Elche but he is coming back from a major injury and we will see if he has recovered well and whether he will play. But I will not take risks with that. I have some good solutions in the middle and will decide tomorrow".
"I do not think that it is the most important thing. I have played many times and fitness is not the most important. The most important thing is to think about what you need to do with the ball before you get it", he said about the requirements to play in midfield. When asked about the last league match played at the Martinez Valero, the Italian said: "We have spoken about the match. It is normal when you do not do things right. The players and coaches understand where mistakes were made. We will play with a different spirit. It is the derby. It is one of the biggest matches and we have to be confident to give our best".
The team has a clear style of play and Ancelotti said the following about the speed and brilliance in the side: "It is normal when you try to change something that you need time. It is also true that we have not played good matches but we've got good results. It is normal to need time to improve. These are small details. We are on the right track with improving the game play. The players have a clear idea of the how we should be playing, some need to improve on that, but we are doing as expected. The idea is clear and therefore it needs a little time on the field for the players to choose the right play, so it sometimes seems a little slow".
"We played seven official matches and have played a 4-4-2 in each. This is the system. From time to time we have played well using it and others not, but the reason is not because the system has changed, it has always been the same". About the playing system, and whether it will be a match between the players or coaches, he said: "It is always a match between players. The team can play well if it has a clear idea of the match strategy. And we have one to be able to play a good match. The key is not on the bench, the key is on the pitch".
Ancelotti was asked about the style of play that Simeone has brought to Atletico. "I can talk about Simeone because I have seen him on television. Atletico have the same style as he did as a player. Perfect positioning, great concentration and character. What Simeone was as a player, Atletico Madrid are as a team". About that style of play, he said: "It is Atletico’s style. To play aggressively and together. It is a good quality to use this weapon. They are a well-organised team defensively and I don’t think it will be easy to create things in attack. We will have to play quickly to create them, and if we play slowly it will be more difficult".
Today's opponents have a clear playing style that the coaching staff have studied well. About the differences between the teams, he said: "Atletico are very compact and play very close together. We are two teams with different qualities. They are a more defensive team than us and with more physical strength, and Real Madrid have more quality. We are two different teams". Villa and Diego Costa are Atletico’s forwards, about whom he said: "They have two very good and dangerous forwards and we have to have to do a good job defensively, not just the centre-backs, the whole team. We have to be together and help each other on the field".
Finally, in reference to refereeing decisions and the role of the referee in the match, the Italian coach was clear. "It will be a tough match and the team that wants to win will have to deal with the pressure. I do not think the referee will have problems because of what happened in the Elche match. I prefer to think that referees, like players, make mistakes on the field. Nothing more. I'm not here to say whether it was a penalty or not, if it was a foul in the match between Barcelona and Sevilla. This is football and coaches make lots of mistakes too", said Ancelotti.