The team held their final training session before facing Espanyol tomorrow. Pepe again stayed indoors while G-Money continued working on his recovery.
“We’ve had a good week on the training field, and now we’re focused on getting the three points”, added the Real Madrid coach.
Zinedine Zidane spoke to the press gathered in the media room at Real Madrid City on the eve of the La Liga clash against Espanyol to preview the game against the Catalan outfit: “We’re at home, and we know what we’ve got to go out and do against Espanyol. We need to score goals and start the game strongly. The only thing we’ve got to focus on is winning the game, and we’re preparing to go out and get the three points”.
“We’ve had a good week on the training field, and now we’re focused on getting the three points. We know that we face a good side. Every game is different, and we have to have respect for the opposition, and that’s why we must make a strong start and be on it right from the off. I hope that things go just like they did in our last two home games”.
The draw against Betis
“It’s tough when you drop two points, because we always want to be winning. Given our performance, we deserved more than a point, but in football you have to take your chances and we’re aware of that. The players performed very well. This is our third week together, we haven’t changed anything and we continue to work as we always have done”.
“I think that’s he’s doing well, but there’s always room for improvement. He’s playing fantastically well. What I’m interested in is that he forgets his worries and is able to focus fully on scoring goals, that’s the most important thing for me. I ask my players to be ready for the games, and tomorrow I want us to make a strong start”.
“We spoke before he went to France. Everything went well there, and the important thing is that he’s fine, and he now is, you can see that out on the pitch. He’s happy and is enthusiastic. He’s also playing very well. I hope that his personal issues get resolved as quickly as possible. I hope that all of this gets quickly forgotten about, that’s what we all want”.
“The important thing is that the team is doing well physically, because as far as quality goes, I’m not overly concerned.”
“I’m happy to be here with the players. I feel very comfortable, but the most important thing is that the players feel good. We’ve just completed our third week, and physically we’re doing better. Yesterday we didn’t train very much, and the same again today, so that we’re fresh for tomorrow”.
“He hasn’t lost anything. He’s had a good week, and physically he’s doing very well, like they all are. He needed to work more, and he’s happy with the work he’s done”.
“We’ll wait to see who replaces him. He’s had a good week, and physically he’s doing well. He’s not had any reaction and the plan is for him to join up with the rest of the group next week”.
Praise for Modric
“He brings an awful lot to the team. He’s a player with real quality, and what I don’t want to do is to be giving him too many instructions. He knows what he has to do out there on the pitch, he knows what he has to do when he has the ball, but defensively there are a couple of things that I talk to him about before the games”.
“If I was to start talking about each player and their technical merits, we’d be here until late tonight because they’re all very good. What he can do with the outside of his boot is the aspect which really impresses me most. Since he has been at Real Madrid he has improved physically. Isco is doing very well too.
“I ask him to perform well for the good of the team because he is a very good player, with real talent. He needs to help out defensively too, just like they all do”.
“We’ll talk about that in the summer, but right now there’s nothing going on because I’m happy with the squad. The important thing is tomorrow’s game. I’m only bothered about getting the three points tomorrow, and with time we’ll see whether we can make any signings in the summer, or not”.
“I’ve got a 26-man squad and I’m happy to be working with them, that’s the only thing I’m focusing on, and on tomorrow’s game. I don’t think that the players are bothered by these rumours. Everyone is free to have their own opinion. There’ll always be rumours, and that’ll always be the case. We need to focus on our jobs and just concern ourselves with what tomorrow’s game has in store for us”.
The following players were called up for the match:
Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas, Casilla and Rubén Yáñez.
Defenders: Varane, Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo, Carvajal and Danilo.
Midfielders: Kroos, James, Casemiro, Kovacic, Modric and Isco.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Lucas Vázquez and Jesé.
And the mothership announced today that the FIFA Appeal Committee has decided to provisionally suspend the sanction imposed on the club. Think of it as a temporary stay of execution. We’re not out of the woods yet.
Social Media Bits and Bobs
A little dressing room action
The Castilla Muppet Babies are in San Sebastian and I am hella jealous.
And a whole lotta Cristiano and Junior…