Real Madrid - Espanyol

Zidane: "We have to be happy at having kept the good run going"

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NEWS | 07/12/2019 | Javier Vázquez | PHOTOGRAPHER: Jesús Troyano

"Vinicius Jr. did really well after having not featured much and that's important to me", stated the coach.
Zinedine Zidane took to the media room at the Santiago Bernabéu in the aftermath of Real Madrid's win over Espanyol. The Whites' coach had the following to say about his side's triumph: "Every game has its own tale and we've got to be happy because we keep our good run going. We can certainly perform much better. but we produced a very disciplined display in which we showed the opposition respect from start to finish. The LaLiga season doesn't just come down to two or three games, there's a very long way to go. It's a long race and you've got to keep on putting in lots of ingredients to keep the wins coming".

"It was a tough game, the opposition had something about them and showed that. They don't deserve to be where they are in the league and we lacked a bit of fluidity in our play, particularly after the break, when it became an end-to-end affair and that didn't suit us. We ultimately got a good result and that's very important for us. It's three extremely important points and we just have to continue on in the same vein".

Vinicius Jr.
"The main thing is that the player wants to score goals, work hard and you've got to look at what he did, he did very well. He performed very well in attack and in defence, as they all did. What's more, after having played less of late, it was his turn today and he did pretty well. He always has to work hard and he did that. Goals come with confidence, the important thing is to score one and get on the goals trail. But I look at the whole pitcure and after having not featured much he did well and that's important to me".

Do you place demands on Vinicius to score?
"No. Goals come as a result of what the team does on the pitch, any one of them can score, like Rafa (Varane) did today. I think that 15 of them have now scored and I don't ask them to do anything in that sense because it's the toughest part. The important thing is what we always put on the tactics board: the work off the ball and when we've got it, and we've been doing that pretty well of late".


Valverde has carved out a place for himself here for many years, he’s showing what he can do. He’s an important player, as they all are. He’s very young and things come easily to him both with and without the ball, he does a great job whenever he plays. There are a lot of players here right now. In the middle, for instance, Isco didn’t play today, but I like all the players to be ready because we’ve got so many games and I want them all to be on it. That was the case today, everyone put in a good performance when given the chance. It’s a long-run thing. We’re going to have so many games and we have to perform every three days. We’re back in the Champions League again this week”.

“He has to hold out again. Until when, I don’t know. Anyway, he has four cards, we can’t change that. We’ll take a look at the upcoming games. You asked me beforehand what we’re going to do about the full-backs as well but for now, the most important thing is to enjoy today’s performance. We are pleased with how we played and now we’ll have to see what happens next week”.

“We always speak to the players. We know how important Modric is. He hasn’t had many injuries, he’s incredibly resilient and can play a lot of games because he’s got the physique to keep going for a long time. I do need to rotate sometimes, but not in order to rest Modric, he looks in good shape to me. I struggled more when I was his age. He knows that every now and then we’re going to miss a game but he’s dealing with things very well from a physical perspective”.

The squad
“I’m lucky to be here with these guys. I make the most of every day, but they’re the ones who fight out on the pitch. We’ve got a great squad, it’s important to train well every day in order to perform well and that’s what we’re doing. We know there’s still a long way to go and haven’t forgotten where we’ve come from”.

Free-kick takers
“There’s a set order and we work on them before the game. As for that free-kick, it was pretty far out but it wasn’t unthinkable to take a shot on goal. That said, there is an established order on them".