NEWS | 14/12/2019 | Javier Vázquez | PHOTOGRAPHER: Antonio Villalba"El Clásico isn't something we're talking about, we're focusing purely on our trip to Mestalla", declared the Whites' boss.
"I'm not going to give anything away because when you're at Real Madrid, the opposition study what you do, the things we work on in training, what we stay and even my posture can be analysed, if I scratch my nose or my head. So I don't want to reveal anything about what I'm going to do tomorrow with my team so as to not give the opposition any clues. I don't discuss squad lists and that's perfectly normal for me. My answers are always the same. It's a strategy of mine. I don't know whether now is a good time to be facing Valencia; they're a side that are doing very well and have progressed to the Champions League last 16. We know who we're up against tomorrow and are ready for the challenge".
Casemiro to start?
"The coach is always the one who has the final say. I talk to my players out on the training pitch every day because I'm interested to hear how each of them is feeling. As for Casemiro, we know just how important each of the players are and I have to name my team for each game. We've got to think purely about this game because I'd be making a mistake if I started to think about Wednesday's match. The next game is always your most important one".
"It'll be difficult not to rotate because we've got three big, important games in quick succession. As I always like to say, I've got 25 players and I can call on each and every one of them. There are two or three of them that are ruled out and I would have liked to have had them with us. I'm going to be counting on all of them in these three games".
Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo
"Age doesn't matter in football. There are players aged 16 or 17 and then, for example, in France there's a player who's 42 and is still playing. Age doesn't matter in football. Everyone likes football".
"I don't think that [Gareth] Bale's role is a less important one. I'm making decisions and the other day I made three substitutions and he wasn't one of them, but Gareth is one of us and I'll be counting on him. I've got 25 players and they're all important to me. We could talk about this player or that player and whether they're more important, but for the coach they're all very important, not just in one game, but in our daily work. I'm with them every day and they're all committed; at the end of the day, that's the important thing for me. The players are available and I'm then the one who has to make a decision".
"We're focusing purely on tomorrow's game. Anything else is in the near future, but it's still in the future. All I'm worried about is tomorrow's game. Once the Valencia game is over, on Sunday night, we'll then start thinking about El Clásico."
Fran García to play at left-back?
"Yes, that could be the case. But I've got a 25-man squad with experienced players and Fran García, who's a very good academy player, isn't part of that. It may happen but it's not something we'll see in this game".
Real Sociedad v Barcelona
"One of three things could happen: they could lose, draw or win. What I do know is that it'll be a good game, I'm going to watch it because it's one that interests me, and, as for the result, we'll see what happens. La Real are having a really good season, it's not just all about Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético. There are many good teams in LaLiga, that's why we like it and why it's the best because anything can happen in every game. I'll be watching it as just any other fan. As to whether today's result will influence things for us, I'm not going to answer that one. I prefer to keep that to myself".
"We're not talking about it and what'll happen on Wednesday. We're only bothered about what'll happen tomorrow because it's our next game. For me, as Real Madrid coach, and for everyone who works here, we're only interested in tomorrow's game. The Valencia game is tomorrow and it's the most important one for us".
Barcelona given longer rest
"It's LaLiga who set the schedule and we respect that. We can't doing anything about those things, I'm not the one who draws up the fixture calendar. We respect it and we're going to have to play on Wednesday after having played tomorrow. We can't change that".
"He's a PSG player and I'm not going to comment on the things that happen there. That would show a lack of respect. As for everything else, people are aware that I know Kylian really well, but I have to show respect for things".