NEWS | 07/01/2020"Valencia will cause us problems and we'll have to be at our best", explained the coach.
"I'm happy to be here because it's an important competition and one that my players and I are up for. We're here to play in the Spanish Super Cup, we've received a really warm welcome and are delighted with the welcome we've been given in Saudi Arabia. We're abroad but we adapt to things. We're fully focused on the semi-final, which for us is like a cup final".
"Each game is completely different. We're both away from home, tomorrow's game is a knockout tie and I think that changes everything. Given the absentees, we'll field a different team, but we're in exactly the same frame of mind: we're happy and intent on putting all of our energy into it. We've got good vibes, we're missing the likes of [Karim] Benzema and [Gareth] Bale, but that's the way things go. We've got a really big squad and the rest of them are here to deliver and produce a good performance tomorrow".
"I'm just focused on tomorrow's game, I'm not looking any further ahead than that. We'll then see what happens after the game. Bale's injury was a medical decision and we've got to accept it. [Luka] Jović could be a good choice, but, as always, you'll find out tomorrow".
"I'd like all of them to be available, but that's not been possible and we're now just fully focused on tomorrow's game. The players that are here are ready. It's an opportunity for the others, we'll see who gets the chance to go out there and perform".
"To attack well we have to defend properly. We've been doing that for some time now, we're strong defensively. That's the basis we follow to then attack well. We'll have to have a lot of options tomorrow in terms of our attacking play. We know that if we're strong defensively, we then have the quality to cause anyone problems. Each game is totally different and we'll have to be at our best to win tomorrow, because the opposition are really good and will also be looking to progress".
"He's the future, he's 22 and is learning. It's not the first time that he's been abroad, but he's a kid and needs to learn. He's got a bright future ahead of him at Madrid and I know that he's going to score a lot of goals. What I'm interested in is the player that he can became in general terms. I don't think that the language is an issue, he wants to be with us and to play. We've got to take things slowly with him. He's only been with us for six months, so we need to be calm and patient. He's a player who cost us a fair bit and he's the future".
Favourites for Spanish Super Cup crown
"I don't see us as being the favourites, there are four favourites. The semi-final against Valencia is like a cup final for us. We haven't got a plan, all that I know is that we'll have to see the best of Real Madrid if we're to get through".