NEWS | 18/09/2021“Valencia are on a good run, and they’ve been playing well and with great intensity”, said the Madrid coach.
“Of course, it concerns me that Valencia are playing well, with great intensity. I’m not concerned about anything else. We have to be well prepared because we’re up against a team that is in top form”.
“Hazard didn’t play because he his knee wasn’t right, and he was in a bit of discomfort yesterday. He’s trained and is going to train again today. We’ll see how it pans out. Hazard has improved in terms of fitness and we have to be careful because he’s had a few injuries in the past. He’s not quite up to the level of fitness that we would like to see, but he’s working hard and we’re confident we’ll see him back to his best soon”.
“We still don’t know how long he will need to recover. It’s quite a bad injury, but it’s hard to know how long. It’s a shame because he had been doing well for us and his country. We have to wait. Sometimes players pick up injuries due to the high number of games they have to play”.
Four games in ten days
“The team is fine physically. The statistics show that we improve in the second half of games. We have to improve in the first half of games. The team is in good shape and those who aren’t playing also have to be in top condition”.
“It’s surprised me. We all know about his physical and technical attributes. He’s also shown his personality and character on the pitch, which we didn’t know so much about. He has a strong personality. He doesn’t let what’s going on in the game affect him and he has confidence in his ability”.
“It’s important to speak and communicate to the players when you take decisions. Sometimes you send players off to warm up for 35 minutes and they don’t get to play, so it’s important to be clear with them about this because you have an idea of the game and that can change later. You have to be patient with my decisions because I make them for the good of the team, not for the individual side”.
“He’s a complete forward. He’s really quick and has great ability. He’s very composed in front of goal and he can play in any position in attack. He’s still very young, but he represents the present and future for Real Madrid”.
Potential recruits for next season
“At this moment, the club president, José Ángel Sánchez and I aren’t talking about signings, only about what the team has to do this season”.
“He’s playing at the same level as he was before I came here. He has immense quality in a one-on-one situation. He’s had a great start to the season and has been scoring goals, which is important. But I’m not a magician, just a coach and I try to give every player the confidence they need to express themselves on the pitch”.
“There are many qualities required that can help carry the team: personality, character, charisma or quality. Vini Jr. carried the team against Levante, scoring two goals in 35 minutes to help us avoid defeat. He’s a young player and now he has the quality to lead the team. But he’ll also do so when he’s older because of his experience”.
Casemiro and a potential replacement
“It’s not easy to find the same defensive qualities in other players. We don’t have another player with the same characteristics. We have different ones with different attributes. I hope he can play every game. If not, I’ll have to change the plan a bit and the strategy for the team. The double holding-midfielder set up is a possible solution”.
Demanding fixture list
“Rotations are essential. It’s important to rotate because players get tired and we have to look after others. Rotating is a must. They won’t be massive rotations, but you have to change the players you use a bit”.