Zinedine Zidane admits Real Madrid have a problem starting games and “can’t go on like this” after Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Eibar in La Liga.
Madrid drew their fourth successive game as they were forced to cancel out Fran Rico’s opener for Eibar, who scored their first-ever League goal against Los Blancos and picked up an inaugural point, prompting Zidane to confess his side were urgently “lacking intensity”.
“It leaves a bad taste. We let our opponents play in the first half,” the Coach said after the game.
“We were better in the second, but lately we’ve started very badly in games.
“We knew they could score and we didn’t close them down. We can’t say it’s a physical problem.
“The only thing for us now is that our players will go with their national teams and I have to find solutions. We must change this.
“Crisis? No. What we have to do is improve. We can’t go crazy. Something happens when you draw three games in the League.
“I won’t lose my papers, neither with the players. The only thing I see is that we have to work harder, be more intense early on in games.
“We're not starting matches with enough intensity. Eibar played well with aggression. It’s the start of the game and we have to correct this.
“We have to put in more intensity into our work, and I’m the first to say so. When our players return from their national team, we have to change. We can’t go on like this.
“We’re not doing well at the start of matches. We always react, but what we have to do is play well from the start, and we’re not doing that.
“It’s true that the first 45 minutes of this game and that of Villarreal were identical. What we must do is work harder and find solutions.
“I can’t say anything else. I believe in the work and quality of this team. But it’s clear that something’s happened.
“I don’t think our style of play is lacking, we need more intensity and aggression in duels and 50-50s.”