Zinedine Zidane not giving up on Real Madrid’s LaLiga challenge yet
Los Blancos are 19 points behind LaLiga leaders Barcelona.
Zinedine Zidane is confident hard work will see his Real Mardid players produce a positive end to the campaign – both in LaLiga and Europe.
Los Blancos head to Levante on Saturday having all but surrendered their LaLiga crown, sitting fourth and trailing leaders Barcelona by 19 points.
The pressure continued to mount on Zidane after his team crashed out of the Copa del Rey to Leganes after a second-leg defeat at the Bernabeu, but they returned to form with a 4-1 win at top-four rivals Valencia at the weekend.
Zidane wants everyone to stay focused on the positives of a group which not so long ago completed a LaLiga and Champions league double.
“When it’s time to work, you have to get stuck into it,” the head coach said ahead of Saturday night’s trip to Ciutat de Valencia.
“In my first year we had three weeks to work and we did very well, we improved a lot. Now we have to do the same – strength, resistance, speed.”
Zidane added: “We remain united in the hard times. I think my players always remain dedicated and driven.
“I have real faith in my squad and I tell them that, they repay that faith with hard work, fight and knowing this is not the end.”
With the small matter of a Champions League showdown against Paris St Germain on the horizon, Zidane maintains there are still plenty of reasons to be positive.
“You are sitting here acting like LaLiga is done for, but I don’t think that is the case. We will keep plugging away, trying to win those games,” Zidane said at a press conference, quoted on the club’s official website.
“In the European Cup we feel excited, raring to go. Real Madrid have won plenty of those cups already and we are going into the next Champions League game looking to win as always.”
Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo and Isco were all able to join in with Real’s final training session of the week.
Ronaldo – who scored twice against both Deportivo La Coruna and Valencia – had been doing work in the gym as he shook off a calf problem, but should be involved on Saturday.
Opponents Levante are scrapping at the other end of the LaLiga table and sit just two points clear of the relegation zone.
Head coach Juan Muniz feels the struggle of all teams are relative.
Non stop!! pic.twitter.com/k2724lHQ1y— Levante UD (@LevanteUD) February 1, 2018
“With Ronaldo, (Gareth) Bale, (Karim) Benzema or Isco, the crises are different,” Muniz said at a press conference, as reported by Spanish media outlet AS.
“They are one of the best sides in the world, so losing a match is a crisis for Madrid.
“But when a machine works well, it goes to Mestalla and wins 4-1.”