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Ancelotti: “We have to fight to the very end in the league and maintain our good form”

NEWS STORY. 21/04/2023

“We have great respect for Celta, they’re having a great season”, said the coach.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke in the press room at Real Madrid City on the eve of the clash against Celta, on matchday 30 of LaLiga. The coach had the following to say: “We have to do our best to pick up wins and fight until the very last game. We're in good form and every game can either confirm this or mean we take a step backwards. The league matches serve for this. The team is looking good and we have to keep proving this in the league games until the end. The goal is to fight until the very end in the league season and maintain the good momentum.”
“We have great respect for Celta, who are doing well. They are well set-up on the pitch and produce good patterns of play, with players like Aspas and Gabri Veiga. We'll try to do our job.”
The fixture schedule
“Basically, the schedule doesn't make sense. It's too tight and there are too many matches. We have to assess the players' health, as they are the most important part of football. LaLiga thinks about its own interests, as do FIFA, the FA and UEFA. For them, the players don't play a role and it's not the right thing to do. It's not a good approach for football. Something has to change. There are too many matches.”

On Benzema
“He’s ok. He had that knock, but he's recovered and trained well. He's available to play tomorrow. I took him off because when I think the game is over, I try to spare the players to give them a bit of rest. I've spoken to him and told him that if I can take minutes away from him, I willo, especially if he's had a slight problem. He understood that fully.”

Rodrygo’s form in the Champions League
“It's a coincidence. Rodrygo's performing extremely well in the league too. He's excelled and has made the difference with goals in the Champions League. But in the league he's been more involved in the team's play.”

Post-match recovery
“We don't have problems in recovering properly. We can't complain about playing the Champions League on Tuesday or Wednesday. We weren't worried because you can recover properly in three days, we've done it a lot of times.”

“I've heard that I give too many days off. But in four months we've only had eight days off. If you play a game every three days you can't afford to give rests. From 30 December until today, there've been eight days off, without taking into account the international breaks.”

“At the moment they're just there to provide a bit of rest for the players who are a tad tired and to try to get as many players in top physical condition as possible. I have to give players minutes to ensure they're in good physical condition for the final stretch of the season.”
Balance in defence
“We're more solid. It depends a lot on the moment of the season. Now is a crucial moment and the players are more focused on the defensive side of things. It was the main focus last year and it could be the key this year.”
Praise for Guardiola
Real Madrid are a highly respected team and that’s a good thing. And when a coach like Guardiola says so, it’s even better”.
Favourites in the Champions League semi-finals
“I don't think about whether we're favourites or not. We know that we're very close to a final, that we're facing very strong opposition and that it's going to be an evenly matched tie. Let’s see what happens.”
On Manchester City
“The team’s changed a bit but they're still very strong with plenty of individual talent. Haaland is up front and he is scoring a lot of goals. Our approach is to try to outperform our opponents and that's all. Madrid and City are both sides that can play in different ways because of the quality in the squads. I don't think Guardiola has totally changed his style, but having such a strong striker changes the way of attacking somewhat. City can play a possession-based game perfectly well, as well as a quick transition game.”

Second place in LaLiga
“Atlético will be fighting for second place until the last minute, it's an important position. When you don't have a chance of finishing first, you want to come second. They're doing well, they're on a good run and playing some very good football.”
Gabri Veiga
“He’s a top footballer, like Aspas. They’re quality players who have something special and they’re having very good seasons.”

Plan for next season
“It's already in place. I've talked about it before, it's not an issue for this moment.”