NEWS STORY. 22/01/2023. Rodrigo Salamanca
Carlo Ancelotti addressed the media in the press room at San Mamés after Real Madrid's win against Athletic: "I didn't want to take any risks with Kroos as it's important to keep a lot of players motivated at this stage of the season. Ceballos and Asensio both deserved to play after their performances against Villarreal and Kroos needed the rest after playing a lot of games. Luka could also have played because he's trained very well, but I preferred to rest him too. We competed well and defended very strongly".
"Our analysis was right following our failure to defend well in the last few games. We struggled at times today in Bilbao because the opposition are a very good team. We had a solid unit and the team was committed as a group in a way that wasn't there in the last few games".
"Vinicius is a top player and a very sensitive person. He's been focused on the game. The opponents and sometimes the referee put Vinicius under pressure with the kicks he receives. He was on the receiving end of a lot of kicks again today. He will get better in this aspect, but he's still very young and at the moment they're putting him under pressure. Vinicius enjoys playing football, but he can sometimes lose his focus a little bit. I really care about him and we want him to be respected a little bit more by everyone. I've told him to talk to me and stay calm. He played got on with his game as he always does".
“Nacho can play at right-back, centre-back or left-back. He always performs, he leads by example and he’s a player every manager would want in their team. The players who’ve had less playing time are contributing a lot at the moment. I mean Nacho, Ceballos, Asensio and Camavinga. This gives us confidence going forward because it’s non-stop and the games come thick and fast”.
“It's tough to get points here. Last year we did well, but we were beaten in the cup. The atmosphere here's terrific, but it's very difficult. We managed the game well, we had to dig deep and battled”.
“I don't know what is plan A or B. Our only plan is to play every three days and try to win the games”.