Zidane: “I believe in my players and that we’ll put in a good performance at Anoeta”
“Real Sociedad have made a good start to the season and it’s an important game in terms of LaLiga”, insisted the Real Madrid coach.
Zinedine Zidane took to the media room at Real Madrid City on the eve of his side’s clash against Real Sociedad, where the Whites’ coach had the following to say about the trip to Anoeta: “We’re aware that we’ll be coming up against a very strong side, who have made a fine start to the season, but we won’t be changing anything: we’ll go there and try and put in a good performance and win the game. It’s an important match because we’ve now drawn twice at home and it’s away to the side that are joint top of the league. I believe in my players and that we’ll put in a good performance at Anoeta”.
“We know just how important a game it is, but we won’t be changing anything in terms of how we go about things. We set ourselves very high standards in the two Super Cups, against Manchester United and Barcelona, but we’re aware of the situation we’re in and what we want to achieve. Tomorrow’s game will be a key one for us and it represents an ideal opportunity to show that we’re doing just fine. It’s another three points at stake”.
Lack of depth within the squad?
“I know how we’re going to set up tomorrow. These things happens and injuries are inevitable. We’ll put out a very strong side tomorrow and the players who make the bench will also have an important role to play. I’m interested in having a strong group available for tomorrow’s game”.
Absences of Kroos and Vallejo
“We won’t be able to call on Kroos or Vallejo, who are both suffering with niggles. We shalln’t be taking any risks with them. They’re not major injuries. With Mateo currently sidelined we don’t want the same thing to happen to anybody else. Ceballos felt some discomfort the day before yesterday, but he’s trained as usual today and he’ll be available”.
“This is the final game that Cristiano has to sit out and we need him back. He’s an important player, but ultimately when he’s not available we’ve got enough in the squad to put in good performances. I believe in those players that will take to the field and trust that we’ll put in a good display tomorrow. His suspension will mean that he comes back in good shape fitness-wise. When he’s available we’re all happy and when he’s not, we have to cope with that. I trust in all of the players and when they play, more often than not, they do a good job”.
“He’ll go out and play his game. He’s getting stronger by the day. He was out for four months and to get back to his best he needs four months, at least. We’ve got to give him some time. We can’t be thinking that because Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim aren’t available that means that he’s under more pressure. We’re a team and it’s up to all of us to make the difference. On a given day, Crisitiano Ronaldo will be the difference-maker, on other occasion it’ll be Isco… I believe in everything that we do as a group, more than on an individual level”.
“His transfer fee is there and you can’t do anything about it. The same thing happened to me in my playing days and I gradually got used to it. What I’m interested in is the player’s motivation levels and you’ve just got to relax about the rest of it. We’ll have to wait to see the best of Bale. I’m in no doubt that he’ll perform well. You’ve got to be patient and he’s used to the pressure. It’s not an issue for him. The only thing that we can influence is what happens out on the pitch. If he goes and scores two goals tomorrow, we’ll all be happy and people’s thinking will change. Everything takes time and he needs that time. That’s all there is to it”.
The 72-game scoring run
“Records are there to be beaten and they’re not the most important thing for me. They may well be for others”.
“He’ll be part of things tomorrow. We’ve got to be patient with all of them. Each player will get their opportunity. We haven’t been performing all that badly so far. He’s ready to play but these things take time. He’s doing well in training. When he plays, I’m sure that he’ll do a good job”.
Illarra’s current form
“There’s a lot of pressure on you at Real Madrid. He was expected to do better than he did and he’s now at ease and you can see that out on the pitch. He didn’t do badly here, although he might have done better. He’s a great player and is doing fantastically well at the moment”.