NEWS | 02/10/2021"We've struggled for goals in our last two games and have to solve that by playing with balance and energy", declared the coach.
“We need to have more balance and really assess what's happening to us. We've struggled for goals in our last two games and we need to turn things around on that front in our next game. That's the way things go in football, it's nothing new. When everything was going smoothly, I said that there'd be tougher times. I don't think that it’s a case of this being a tough time, but it is a little tougher than it was before, but we have to overcome it by playing with balance and energy”.
“We’re pleased to have him back. He needed to recover properly. He'll start tomorrow's game. He brings his quality and experience. Everyone knows what he offers the team”.
“He's lacking a bit of consistency. I think that he's doing some things as he did before. He does well on one-on-one situations and is very good at getting past his man. He had several shots the other night against Sheriff. He needs to be more involved in the games and will gradually have the opportunity to show the considerable quality that he has”.
“He’s settled in very well because he's got personality and quality. He has to improve because he still has to get better in terms of his positioning, but he’s very young. He's brought great energy to the team and that's good”.
“When out of possession, I think the most effective formation is 4-4-2. It's a different story when we’re in possession and the system is a difficult one to understand because when we have the ball we never play with four at the back. We operate with two or three at the back. We may go with two central defenders or it could be a case of having a full-back dropping deep. When out of possession, we try to defend with two lines of four and, in some games, we’ve defended with a line of five, just to apply a little bit more pressure up top”.
“We had a photo taken yesterday and on my right I had Kroos and Casemiro was on my left. I said to the two of them that that's a good midfield. I believe that we have the best midfield in the world at this moment in time”.
“Criticism may or may not be fair, but you also have to accept it and evaluate it. I have a fantastic position that really excites me and in this position you have to accept it. It's better to be criticised at Real Madrid, because all coaches come under criticism, whether that is in the Primera, Segunda, Tercera Divisón, but I'm lucky to be at a place that brings me a lot of excitement”.
“The players who have played fewer minutes will have more possibilities because they’re fresher. Everyone thinks that Casemiro is tired but he doesn’t seem tired to me. He’s been doing well for the team. When I rest a player it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to play. It means that we have to preserve them in order to avoid injuries, which is what we did with Modrić, who was rested against Villarreal and then played against Sheriff”.
“Mendy is doing quite well. He’s started training with the squad. But we haven’t increased the intensity too much. We want to take advantage of the international break to work him harder and get him back playing. I think he’ll be able to play his first match after the international break. Carvajal and Marcelo are also at the same point. We hope they’ll be back after the break”.
Atlético vs. Barcelona
“We have to make sure we're in the battle with both teams right up until the end because they’re both good sides. It may well be that Atlético go into today's game in better form. I'll be watching it just like all other football fans because they’re two great teams. I think that if we do what we have to do, we'll be in the battle with both teams right up until the end”.
On coaching Barcelona
“With all due respect to a great club like Barcelona, I can’t go against my past. I’ve been manager of Real Madrid in the past and now I’m in charge again, so I can’t go against that”.
Defeat against Sheriff
“The assessment of the game was clear and simple. I’ve explained it very clearly to the players. The team did what it had to do and we paid the price because of a few minor mistakes in the game. We have to be more clinical in front of goal and with the passes, and focus more when we are under attack. It affects me physically because I can’t sleep and I always think about what has happened. This is what always happens when you don’t win – you don’t sleep”.
“If he does join, he should enjoy it because Real Madrid are the greatest club in the world”.