NEWS | 07/04/2017 | Alberto Navarro | PHOTOGRAPHER: Ángel Martínez“It's a derby and every match has its history; we'll have to dig in”, added the Real Madrid coach.
“It's not going to be an easy game. I don't know how they're going to play but all I'm interested in is what we're going to do. As always, we're expecting 90 tough minutes and we'll have to show resilience because that's football. It's a derby and we know what type of game it will be. That's why we're taking it one game at a time”.
“There are no favourites. There are three points to be played for and we'll wait and see what happens. We know that every match has a history. Atlético are going very well and I'm not expecting anything like the game in the first half of the season. We'll have to dig in. We're focussed and everyone wants to see a good game of football”.
“Everyone talks about Atlético as a team that are very good defensively. That's true but there is more to them than that. They've improved an awful lot in the last four or five years in the sense that they play some very good football. They haven't got only defensive players, but also some guys who know how to play - not just the ones up top, but their fullbacks and midfield too”.
Atlético's three league wins in a row at the Bernabéu
“I've not got an explanation for it. Sorry, but that's the way it is. We'll see tomorrow. I'm not hungry for revenge exactly, just eager to overcome this challenge. There are three points on the table. We won in the first game this season, but we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. We're all very much looking forward to playing the derby”.
“He's an intelligent player and he knows what I'm looking for. We're all going to stick together until the end. He always steps up in the big games. His ambition drives him to play well and it's why he's phenomenal in training. He's ready for the final stretch of the season. He wants to score goals and be a key man for the team in every game he plays. That's brilliant, his ambition is contagious. His energy drives him on and that's a positive influence on everyone around him”.
Importance of the squad
“We've got nine games and everyone will be crucial. It's not all about the BBC. They know that we're a group and that every player is important. It's always difficult to pick the team, but all the guys are vital and that will be the case from now until the end of the season. What happens then, I don't know”.
“The plan is for them to come into the end of the season in top physical shape. When neither Bale nor Cristiano Ronaldo played the other day, that was because we know we've got a lot of games and also because I know what the other members of the squad can contribute to the team. Every match is different and from a physical point of view, I hope we can finish the season just as we're doing now in every training session and in every game”.
Benzema and Griezmann
“Yes, they can both be the difference, but I hope it's Benzema who proves it. All the players have real quality and can be decisive”.
“I'm not preparing anything. All I'm focussed on is what's left of the season. You know the stature of this club, I know it too, and I know what it means to coach Real Madrid, for better or for worse. I'm ready for anything and that's why I only speak about the next game, that's all I'm interested in. The important game is tomorrow, there are three points to play for. I don't know what will happen beyond that”.
“I always stay positive, whatever happens in life. I'm lucky enough to be here and do what I love every day. There are many people in the world who don't enjoy what they do, so I make the most of every day and I'm always positive”.
“There's no controversy. He's very happy here and we're all just thinking about tomorrow. We know this is just part of football, but all we're interested in is what happens out on the pitch, nothing more. I'm more relaxed now he's said he's not going to Barcelona”.
Would failing to win LaLiga be a failure?
“We're here to do all we can to win and then people can have their opinions. We're committed and we want to do a good job. It's all to play for in these closing stages and everything we've done so far is irrelevant. We're playing for LaLiga and the Champions League”.
“Every game is important to me and against Leganés, a crucial game, he played very well and got a goal”.
James' substitution against Leganés
“It's something between coach and player and that'll always happen in football. We've both got the same objectives. It's over now and we're only thinking about tomorrow's game”.