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Ancelotti: "It's an important matchday and it'd be very significant if we were to win"

NEWS STORY. 02/11/2021. Rodrigo Salamanca

"This team always delivers on a mental level in these types of games", explained the coach.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media in an online press conference in the lead-up to Wednesday's game against Shakhtar Donetsk (6.45pm CET) and the boss had the following to say: “The squad is in good shape. We're pleased with how things are going at the moment and we're doing well. The team is very aware of what tomorrow night's game means. We faced them a fortnight ago and so we know all about them. We're going to put together a good strategy to try and win the game. It's an important time and an important matchday within the group and winning the game would be very significant”.

“It's a very important game and whether we win it or lose would really change things. Losing a game like this would mean that we would have to win the other two matches and it would make things that bit more difficult for us. In contrast, if we were to win we would then be very close to securing our qualification for the next round, which is our first objective for the first half of the season. The team will be giving its all always delivers on a mental level in these types of games”.

“He's training well and will not lose his focus mentally. I believe in the players who are getting less game time. Their time will come. Who thought that Mariano's time would come? He hadn't played a single minute all season, but he now has and has really enjoyed it. He's shown a professional attitude, as has Hazard and the others who aren't playing".

Roberto de Zerbi
“He's a coach with a very clear idea about how he needs to play with Shakhtar. He did a very good job at Sassuolo and is now doing very well at Shakhtar. His teams have a very clearly defined identity. He'll go on to have a lot of success because his footballing philosophy is very good”.

“They're important players, but just like the rest of them. Each of them have their own characteristics and and we just have to enjoy all of them. You've also got to consider the characteristics of the players who play in front of them. Vinicius need a wing-back who pushes him forward because he likes to get down the flanks, but when we play Asensio we need someone who pushes a bit further forward to give us greater width. The strategy that we adopt with the wing-backs changes every game and it depends on the tactics adopted by our opposition. Our wing-backs are very complete players because they're able to both attack and defend with quality”.

“The player is committed and Bale’s situation is clear cut. He has had a major injury and needed time to recover. He hasn't yet trained with the team, but he's very close to completing a full recovery. I said last week that he may train with us a few days ahead of the match against Rayo Vallecano. However, his national team then called him up because they need him. They will assess whether or not he is ready to play. He may be available for Wales. he's recovered and we're delighted that he's playing for them because he's going to clock up a lot of minutes and will come back in better shape”.

Rodrygo suffered a little bit of discomfort against Elche and will not be available tomorrow night. It's only a very minor thing and he’ll be back after the international break. Injuries is just something that generally happens in football. In every game you get muscle injuries and that’s down to the fixture calendar. We have to manage that, but for the time being we haven't had many issues, except Valverde’s knee injury. The team is in pretty good shape”.

Goalscoring record at the Bernabéu
“We got off to a very strong start because we scored a lot of goals and we've only scored once from the penalty spot. It's something that we're assessing, but we have to continue to create goalscoring chances. We have to continue playing fast, attacking football and showing our quality. This is an issue that we will soon overcome”.

“I asked Asensio to just enjoy his on-field characteristics, which aren't the same as Rodrygo’s because he’s a very skillful player down the wing. Asensio has a wand of a left foot and can also pick a pass. He's a player who continues to be important, despite the fact he hasn't featured all that much”.

Jović is happy here. I try to show him as much affection as possible and I like him as a forward. He knows that, but he's also aware that he's got the best striker in the world in Benzema in front of him. He has to have belief that his time will come. He could have had a chance against Elche, but he felt some discomfort in his knee. I want him to recover because he will get game time. He has come on in other games and performed well.”