NEWS | 21/02/2014 | diego jabalquinto"All the games are important and Elche is a team that can cause us problems", the Real Madrid coach stated.
Real Madrid takes on Elche in the Santiago Bernabéu (4pm, C+ Liga y Gol T) for matchday 25 of the league campaign. Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media about the upcoming opposition during the pre-match press conference: “I'm not sure what the starting line up will be because we have to wait for the Committee to make a decision about Cristiano. I expect them to decide tomorrow, reduce his suspension by one match and allow him to play. Illarra will fill in for Luka Modric. We will rotate the centre backs with Varane coming in for Sergio Ramos”.
“I don't know what will happen during the next La Liga matchday. We are focused on our own work. We will look to win all three points and continue our good run. During this stage of the season all the matches are equally as important. Elche is a team that can cause problems. We have to be on our toes as always and try to make the most of our chances in order to take all three points”.
Cristiano Ronaldo's suspension and the appeal
“I don't think it's logical, I've said that plenty of times. We put in our appeal very quickly. Bureaucracy takes time and now all we can do is wait. I hope the decision is made before (the team talk). If he is allowed to play then he will, and if not, someone else will take his place”.
“I think he will be allowed to play simply because getting a three match ban for what he did during the match against Athletic seems ludicrous to me. He is in the squad and I'm convinced he'll play. Justice is justice. They have taken their time. I hope they don't meet after the Elche game because that would be too late”.
A week to prepare for the game
“We have worked well and used the time in order to get into good shape. We have trained with a normal level of intensity because the team is in very good physical shape at the moment”.
“The players are in good shape after a lot of games and that means the team is well prepared. We have a lot of matches this month, all of which are very important. I am not worried about things from a physical standpoint. I think the players are fresh ahead of the upcoming fixtures”.
Praise for Illarra
“He has improved a lot and has a lot of confidence. He also gets a lot of guidance from Xabi Alonso. He has improved a lot since the beginning of the season. It used to be better for him to play in Alonso's position, but in the last few games he has shown he can play alongside him, and that says a lot about him as a player”.
Preparation for the Champions League
“Playing today or tomorrow doesn't change anything. We have enough time to recover well and prepare ourselves for the Champions League game against Schalke 04. The players know well that at this stage of the season all the matches are very important. We are focused on the next one. We have enough time to prepare for that Champions League game. We'll take it one game at a time and tomorrow we'll be trying to beat Elche. After that we'll focus on Schalke”.
“They played well in the Champions League in the San Siro, which is not an easy thing to do. They won because of their positive attitude, good play and organisation. That difficult week passed by quickly”. In reference to the published story claiming that Real Madrid is interested in signing Courtois, he stated: “We have two excellent goal keepers and don't need another one. We don't need more goal keepers. We are covered in that position”. On the subject of the Copa del Rey final he said: “I think its good that it will be on a Wednesday. That is a good day to play a final”.