Jose Mourinho has looked to alleviate any pressure on his Real Madrid team, insisting that they can turn around their first leg Cup defeat to Celta Vigo.
Los Merengues fell to a 2-1 loss at Balaidos on Wednesday evening, but Mourinho made sure to remind reporters afterwards that this defeat does not signal the end of the world.
“I liked how Celta played and I think that they deserved to win the match. The result reflects what happened on the pitch, but perhaps they didn’t do enough to merit scoring twice and neither did we to merit scoring once,” assessed the Portuguese post-match.
“The most logical result would have been 1-0 and they scored the second goal without knowing how and forced us to react. They deserved to win the match, but I still think we are favourites to win the tie and I’d like to think that we will go through.
“There is no great drama, everything is still to be played for and we know they are a good team. I’d rather lose here today than to do it in the League because we can do something about this.”
The Coach continued, with one eye on the second leg, due to be played in the second week of January.
“We are capable of winning. But I do not like to put percentages on these things. We do not have to thrash them, we just need to win. We do not have to make a historic comeback. We are capable of winning, but Celta are a good team and will use everything that they have at their disposal.
“I think that for our home fans it will be a more exciting match than if we had won here. It will be an exciting match in which we will have to turn around the tie and the fans will be looking forward to the match with excitement. We can win the tie.”
Mourinho moved Raphael Varane to centre-forward for the final quarter of the match and confirmed that it was a move out of necessity, due to the Frenchman picking up an injury and all three substitutions for the side already made.
“Varane has been a champion because he was injured on the field and when injured he managed to do more on the field than some who were not injured. We put him at centre-forward because he could not sprint and play as a defender. He did well.
“It was my choice to leave Morata out, which is what I am here for, to make decisions, sometimes they are good decisions and sometimes they are bad. Today I decided wrong and he ought to have been on the bench. Essien was there to play 60 minutes and he did, but I changed him because we were losing and I wanted to change the team a little and bring on an attacking player
“Benzema? He has something wrong with his ankle, but I do not know what it is.”
Continuing the assessment that Alvaro Morata should have been involved, the Coach was encouraged to say who would have not played instead.
“There are players who disappointed me, but I will not speak about anyone directly. I think that it would have been better if Morata was here, he still a little bit green but he has ambition, wants to give his best and is entitled to make a mistakes.
“Instead I gave the chance to a player who did not want to be here and who maybe did not play this match because of the cold, because of the rain, because it was a Cup match. I make the decisions and it is my responsibility.
“I think we saw the same match and you can criticise the Coach and his decisions, but maybe it is not always only the Coach who has to take responsibility. I take mine.”