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Real Madrid - Valencia

Ancelotti: "The team is more solid and suffers less"

NEWS STORY. 02/02/2023

"We have one more point than last year at this stage and we have scored more goals," said the coach.

Carlo Ancelotti addressed the press room at the Santiago Bernabéu after Real Madrid defeated Valencia on postponed LaLiga matchday 17: "It was a good game. We are going through a good moment of form. The first half was weaker than the second, but that's normal. In the second half the opposition lowered their intensity and it suits us better. We had the game was under control."

"The negative aspect was the injury situation. Militão's is more serious than Karim's, which seems lighter. Militão won't be available on Sunday and these are things that happen at this stage of the season. The improvement comes because the team is more solid, suffers less and works harder at the back. Those are the keys to the improvement."

Summary of the First Half of the Season
"We are in line with what we thought at the start of the season. The new players have been incorporated well and we have coped well with Karim's absence in a number of games. We have one more point than last year and we have scored more goals. January could have been complicated because of the World Cup, but that's over now. We've started February well and luckily we're playing on Sunday at 2.00 pm against Mallorca rather than on Saturday night."

The Substitutions
"Kroos asked me to take him off because he had a strained abductor muscle. They are such good professionals that they ask me to change them. If I sub a player it's not because he's not playing well but because I have resources on the bench. Sometimes I don't bring Rodrygo on from the start because I think I have another option to change the game from the bench and change the dynamic of the game. This is what enabled us to win a Champions League from the bench."

Transition in Midfield
"We're currently managing this transition like this and it will stay like this until the end of the season. I want to play those behind Kroos and Modrić more often, bearing in mind that both of them are crucial to this team."

Praise for Ceballos
"He's playing very well and everyone can see that. Ceballos and the club have to work out the contract renewal. Everyone knows what I think and I think that if Ceballos carries on like this he will be very important."

The Left-back
"We have to look at it. Camavinga has surprised everyone by how well he can play in this position. He is really impressing me both in attacking and defensively. He's linking up well with Vini Jr. Alaba is coming back on Sunday and he's an option while Nacho is also doing very well."

Vini Jr.
"He's very impressive in terms of his fitness level. He struggles more in the first half because the opposition play with a higher level of intensity. In the second half he was able to carry the ball off the ball and get in behind them. It makes a difference. The full-backs are exhausted at the end of the game because they don't stop. He is doing very well and I think he has room to improve. He's playing at a very high level and he brings a lot to the team."

Paulista's Sending-off
"It came from a moment of frustration and that can happen sometimes in football. He was frustrated because his team weren't playing well. The tackle is a bit ugly, but I can understand it as an ex-footballer. Paulista has always been proper and that's why I think it was a moment of frustration."