Bale: Madrid respected Schalke

Gareth Bale has said Real Madrid treated Schalke with respect despite leading the Bundesliga side 6-1 from the first leg of their Champions League tie.

Madrid ran out 3-1 winners on the night to rack up a 9-2 aggregate victory and Bale, a first half substitute for the injured Jese, believes Madrid’s professional approach paid dividends.

“It was important for us to respect tonight's rivals and not go out with the mind-set of merely seeing the tie out,” he told UEFA’s official website.

“We put in a good, professional performance and were delighted to get the win. We are on a very good run and are really confident at the moment.

“I am enjoying my football and the team is playing well. The most important thing is for the team to keep working hard.”

Madrid are through to the competition’s quarter finals as well as the final of the Copa del Rey. They also lead La Liga with 10 games to go and play Barcelona on Sunday.

Bale believes Los Blancos have entered the stage of the season most crucial to their hopes of claiming at least one trophy.

“Now is the crunch time in the season, when things are won and lost, so we need to keep our performances up and keep winning games,” the Wales winger added.

“We will treat the weekend game against Barcelona as another match.

“We will prepare the right way and hopefully get the right result. We know they are close rivals but we want to win the three points on offer.”

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