NEWS STORY. 05/02/2022
Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press in an online press conference from Real Madrid City on the eve of the meeting against Granada. The Italian previewed the LaLiga Matchday 23 encounter in the following terms: “I'm expecting to see a performance in which the team shows a reaction following the defeat to Athletic. We'll have to prepare properly because, just like all of the teams, Granada will come here looking to play their game and will seek our weakness. The most important thing is that we react well, put in a good and committed performance and win the game.
“The squad is in good shape. We finished strongly at San Mamés and had good control of the game. We had the injuries to Karim, Mariano and Mendy, but they will all be back next week. I think that this tough period we've had will come to an end next week when the three of them are back with us”.
“It's true that I've often fielded more or less the same players, but there are some of them who haven't played much and were ready to play. January was a pretty tough month with the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Super Cup and with the travelling for the Brazilian players. January is now behind us and we have to prepare properly for February's games. I think that we're managing the squad in the right way because I'm the one who watches the players in training every day and then make my decisions based on that”.
"I'm used to being in these kinds of situations. This just serves to confirm that I am the Real Madrid coach. As Real Madrid coach, you've always got decisions to make. Sometimes you get them right and sometimes you get them wrong. This is all pretty normal in our job and there's nothing new to it".
"You rotate the team when you lack confidence in a player or when a player is tired or injured. January was a very demanding month, with all of the travelling, the Spanish Super cup, the Copa del Rey games against Elche and Athletic and some serious injuries within the squad. We've suffered a little bit. That's to be expected and is understandable. We now have a very important month in which the squad will be a little bit fresher in that respect. We've got some important games that give us the chance to stay top of LaLiga and progress in the Champions League. I think that the team is currently well placed, I know we're hurting following our Copa del Rey elimination, but we've already lifted one trophy and are competing well".
“Karim is ruled out of tomorrow's game because although he has improved, he still isn't 100%. He trained yesterday but he wasn't feeling very good. We'll have to wait two or three days on him to see if he's fit for our next game”.
Video.Ancelotti: Lo más importante es reaccionar bien, hacer un buen partido y ganarlo
"We obviously miss Benzema, the leading goalscorer in LaLiga. When a team has a player like Benzema and he is out, you can tell that something is missing, that's to be expected. We have had games in which Benzema has been out and we've still performed well. We beat Real Sociedad with Jović in the side and Elche with Mariano up there, and against Inter when he had to come off with a problem. We didn't beat Athletic, but the way in which we replaced him worked quite well".
Changes following San Mamés trip
"As a squad, we're ready for the game. Apart from Vini Jr. and Karim, all of the players are fit. They're all training and, if I give them the chance, they'll play. Naming my team is a decision that I have to take and I'll have to wait and see if I get it right".
Did you get things wrong on Thursday?
"I took a bit of a risk with Vini Jr. I could have played him in the second half and the first half, so we could debate that one. The player was aware that he was feeling a bit tired, but I thought he could bring something to the team. People are entitled to have their say on this. As for the rest of it, there isn't much to say. Casemiro and Rodrygo both played and they haven't been playing. I went with fast players up top from the start to try and get us to break away quickly in attack and I later brought Isco on".
A coach is responsible for defeats
"That's true and I'm used to it. As I said, I've got so much excitement and desire to be Real Madrid coach that I welcome criticism. It keeps me on my toes. Any criticism obviously makes me think more about things and so I'm grateful when you criticise me because it keeps me on my toes even more. Many thanks (laughter)".
"When I say that nothing has happened, I'm referring to his personal situation and the relationship. Nothing has happened in terms of his fitness, he's fine and is training well. Besides that, there's another decision I have to make. The fact that Hazard doesn't play in a particular game is because I choose to play another player, but Hazard against Elche and scored. He's played when I believed that he could help the team and he has done that. However, it's nothing to do with his fitness or for personal reasons, we're not hiding anything here".
Players on the bench
"I didn't see the incident and don't know what happened. I don't know why Bale was laughing. I don't consider it to be all that important. I was keen to bring Hazard on during extra time and the same goes for Ceballos too. That's why they swapped during their warm-ups. Sometimes the players start to warm up because no more than three of them can warm up at the same time and you can't send six players out to warm up. That's the rule and it explains why the players sometimes stop warming up".