NEWS | 21/09/2021"Our spirit is the basis of the results we've achieved because we always fight until the last", commented the coach.
“The most important thing is to win. You’ve got a better chance of winning if you play well. You've got to ask yourself what does playing well mean? In the game there's also a team that doesn't have the ball. It also means defending well. The key term in football is balance: to perform well with and without the ball”.
"Defining the style of a team is a very complex issue. I'd need a lot of time to explain it. The coach needs to consider the history and tradition of a club, assess the players' characteristics and suggest a style that takes that into account, as well as their quality and the club's history".
“I have to assess what sort of state the players that have played are in and whether they've recovered properly, but I’m considering making a few changes. I’ll see how today’s training session goes and then make a decision, but I think we’ll make a few changes”.
“All of the players know what I think. It’s difficult to pick the line-up. Asensio may not be happy, but that’s to be expected and it’d be odd if a player who isn’t playing was happy. Asensio isn't happy and that's good, Isco isn't happy and that's good and Jović isn't happy and that's good. All of the players who aren’t playing should be unhappy, but all of the players who aren't playing are training well. It gives me more issues when all of the players are on it in training. Asensio, Isco and Jóvic will get game time. I don't like players who aren't playing and are happy".
First spell at Real Madrid
"I have to consider the players' characteristics. They're different to the ones I had in my first spell. I have to try to make sure their on-pitch positioning is right. That's what the job is all about. The club knows me really well and I know the club very well and we're enjoying ourselves at the moment".
“He’s more mature, more confident and we’re all seeing his quality. Nothing would change if other players were to come in. He's a player who's on form and it's difficult to leave him on the bench unless he's tired. He's 20 and is capable of playing two games in a row".
"Time-wasting is a problem across all of the leagues. The trend that I'm noticing amongst the Spanish referees is to not blow up for every case of contact. That helps to give us more game time. They're doing well at the moment and then there's the question of in-ball time".
Areas to improve
“When the team is in position, we defend pretty well. We have to improve our press higher up the pitch. We’re can’t always be defending in our half as a deep unit. Sometimes you’ve got to look for opportunities when the ball is passed back and come out from the midfield. We didn’t do that well against Valencia”.
“He’s got everything you need to play for Real Madrid. He’s very young and is under no pressure at the moment because that’s what his personality is like. He’s very happy, he’s talking to his teammates and is trying to learn Spanish as quickly as possible. He has the freshness that comes with youth. His position on the pitch is something that I’ve discussed with him. He has always played as a holding midfielder but he’s got quality. He’s very quick on the ball. He’s a complete midfielder and can play anywhere across the middle third”.
“He brings his quality, which is that of a modern-day midfielder. He has quality and is physically very strong. He’s not a specialist in his position and is capable of playing in various roles. The fact that we’ve got him is a deal big because we’ve got a midfielder with experience, a lot of quality and youth and thanks to him, we’re now satisfied in that position”.
Bringing the ball out
“We sometimes do it with two players or with three, it depends on the position of the opposing team. Every game is different”.
Relationship with the club
“I have a very good relationship with the club. This is the honeymoon period for me. We’ll go through tougher spells, but my respect for this club and all it represents, for the president and the fans will remain intact. We’ll go through tougher times, but we’ll enjoy ourselves because we also had times like that in my first spell and we got through them”.
“They’re something that affect every time. We saw it with Valencia the other day who hadn’t played on Wednesday. It’s a season with a lot of games that place great demands on the players. We have to put up with this issue. Some players get injured, others return… We’ve got a pretty strong squad. It’s a shame because I’d like to have all of them available. This week Carvajal is out, but for our next game other players, like Mendy, Marcelo and Kroos, will be back”.
Room for improvement
“We have room for improvement in the consistency of our play and defensive aspects. We’re performing at above 50% and sometimes we’re at 60% or 70%. We’ve done well so far. We’ve had six games. We’re at an advantage when we play at the Bernabéu. Five of our games have been away from home at tough grounds like AC Milan, Valencia, Sevilla and that shows that this team has got real guts”.
“You need both things: quality and intensity, particularly in Europe, it’s really important. It’s also important in a league season when you’ve got a lot of games”.
“He felt fine after the game and put in a good performance. Given his history, he’s one of the players that we have to assess. We need quality minutes and not the quantity of minutes”.
“From my experience, you face problems every season, either sooner or later. Everything’s going for us right now, but the problems will come and the only thing that we have to do is work hard to solve them”.