News and opinions
16 December 2012
Luka Modric was the first change for the Whites and the Real Madrid coach said the following about how he is and why he was substituted: "Modric is still having some small problems. Especially when playing two consecutive matches in three days. Each time we pick him twice in a row his performance has not been the best. I was a bit sorry to bring him off because he was not playing badly nor did he deserve to be taken off. I've took a strategic decision. I thought putting Di María on and opening up the flanks could help the team as it did, because I think that in the second half the team produced more attacking football. So that’s why I was sorry to take off Luka, but it was for strategic reasons".
The team is not having the best time in terms of results and Mourinho spoke about how to change the situation: "I think that it has to come every man for himself. It is a matter of professional pride and of each individual’s ambition that each player has to think about. You're not happy, you do not enjoy what’s happening, you lose too many times and you are far from the aims you had but you still have others. Real Madrid, just for being Real Madrid, always have to fight for every match and I think that is what you need to get yourself ready for. Without any cheap philosophy or nonsense. This is about the individual pride of each person wanting the best for himself and his club".
Referring to the possible causes of this not very positive situation for the team the coach said: "The non-sporting side has always existed. It is not a new thing. We're not playing as well as we have done before. When you are not getting the results you don’t get the same enjoyment and confidence. Normally, with the team doing well and with confidence high and with all of these chances in previous seasons the match would have ended with three, four or five. We are struggling to score them and our opponents are creating them with little effort".
The team has consistently demonstrated its ability to turn around adverse situations, and about their chances in League he said: "I think it is almost impossible. We are talking about ten points that could be 13 today, and in December that is a lot. Last year we had 10 in February-March and although we drew a couple of matches we managed to keep the distance. If the 10 becomes 13 seems too great a gap to close. What we have to do is play every match to win without worrying about whether we are first, second or third or whether our direct rivals won or lost. We just have to try to improve and win matches. If we improve in the league it will help us improve in the cup and the Champions League. If we want to have a chance in these two competitions we have to be stronger. As with matches these things are cyclical, if you say 'I cannot win the championship and therefore I have no desire to improve in the league' you are playing against yourself in the other competitions where you have a better chance of winning than the other. It is therefore essential to try to improve".
The coach responded to the question as to whether he had ever been in a situation like this: "No, I've never seen a situation like this where I have lost that many points and my team was so far from its aims, in this case the league. It is a new situation for me but I do not make a big drama about it. It is a new stage in my career and I will try to do my best. I do not lack the strength to try my best until the end of the season. We have titles to fight for. The league title seems almost impossible, but we must continue because Real Madrid demands that pride and professionalism to always try to do your best and to win. But in all my years of coaching we have always or almost always met our targets and therefore this is a new situation for me".
On whether he felt the squad’s support he said, "Yes, I think so." And finished by answering a question about goals conceded from set pieces: "I do not want to answer. I think as a sports journalist I think you will able to analyse our defensive set pieces and be able to comment without asking the coach to do it".