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Real Madrid - Levante

Zidane: "It was a phenomenal first-half performance, full of goals, good football and desire"

NEWS | 14/09/2019

“We have to focus on playing like that for the full 90 minutes" added the coach in the press conference.
Zinedine Zidane appeared in the press room at the Santiago Bernabéu following his side's win over Levante to assess the clash: “We've taken all three points after a phenomenal first-half performance, full of goals, good football and desire. We found it more difficult in the second half. When the opposition gets an early goal, things change a bit. We need to focus on playing like we did in the first half for the full 90 minutes. That'd be great for us”.

“In the second half we had chances to score goals but we just didn't quite have it physically… I'm not looking for excuses, but it's true that we had many players out and others who haven't had much rest. Casemiro couldn't go on, Sergio's got a calf issue... James and Hazard have only had four sessions with the group. We'll focus on the first half and take it step by step. All we have to do is to play like we did in the first half for longer”.
 
Hazard
“He's very direct, he's superb with the ball at his feet and all he needs is a few more training sessions under his belt. He's only trained with the team four times. We know how good he is but we've got a lot of games to come and we have to manage the situation. I don't want any more injuries. Hazard will bring us an awful lot. He's not ready to start games yet because he's only completed four sessions”.
 
Benzema
“All I can say is, I hope he keeps this up. It's important for us to have Karim playing like this. We're pleased, we noticed the fans' ovation. We need to carry on like this and try and improve on the second half. I've been hearing how Karim's last game was his best for a very long time".

Benzema always plays at the top level, he stands up to be counted and is always ready.

"We know that we can produce much better performances and we'll go about doing that in a relaxed way. We have to play better and perform for longer spells in the game. That's what you'll see us do".

Middle third
"You've seen the injured players, it's just the way it goes. A coach has to adapt to the players at his disposal. When you look at the bench, there was no other choice and we ended the game with Kroos and Lucas in there. We had to hold out and we did that. We can't be happy with the performance in the second half but we tried".

Vinicius & his goal
"He's 19 years old and we have to take things slowly. You only achieve things through hard work. The important thing is to create chances. We certainly had the chances to have scored more. We've got to stress that. I'm only focused on the work that each player has to do to improve".

James
"He's got quality and he's always had that. Nothing has changed. In terms of his fitness, he struggled a bit at the end but he showed his character and commitment. He was dead on his feet at the end but I'm pleased for him because he gave every last ounce out there. We'll now rest up and get ready for our next game".

Defence
"We have to improve. That's what we work on. We're going to concede less and score more goals, I'm in no doubt about that".

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