Rafa Benitez has rubbished talk that a group of senior Real Madrid players recently confronted him over his perceived defensive tactics.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo were reportedly the three men in question as Los Blancos’ style of play this season continues to find itself under scrutiny, but the Coach insists such a claim could not be any wider from the mark.
“[On Danilo and Dani Carvajal], we’re talking about two great players who are able to attack and defend well, but it depends on the squad and characteristics of our opponents,” he said at a Press conference ahead of Saturday’s Clasico against Barcelona.
“[On reports a group of Madrid players requested Benitez to adopt more attacking tactics], I can tell you that this information is absolutely false.
“I have spent many years managing football teams, nothing has gone wrong and I’ll continue as I have done.
“I have a very professional group, but players like to play in big games and are especially motivated for the, so I’m optimistic in that regard.
“I think the good thing about the calendar is that it pits everyone against everyone.
“The fact that we’ve already played against Athletic [Bilbao] and Atletico Madrid means it’s been a tough schedule. It’s our second game with the whole squad available.
“I’m very optimistic. I don’t like to be second but we have a chance to fix it [on Saturday].
“The attacking team are the team who get into the opponents’ box and score goals, and you’ll see that’s what Real Madrid have been doing.
“We’ll continue trying to do what we did [recently] but with more efficacy.
“The first thing I did upon [James Rodriguez’s] return is talk to him. What I wanted was for him to return safely.
“I’m pleased [with him] and I want him to be in the best possible condition to win games with Real Madrid.
“He is in the squad and can participate [on Saturday]. If we believe he can provide what we need for the win, we’ll play him.
“[Sergio Ramos] has been making the effort [to return for the Clasico], and it’s one we all value and appreciate. He is our captain and will be [on Saturday].
“Our forwards are free to swap positions. When scoring goals, they all looked fantastic and suddenly [Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and James] were taken away from me.
“Cristiano [Ronaldo] is crucial, I have faith in him to score a lot of goals and received guarantees that he will. The most important thing is that he feels comfortable.
“Real Madrid have a way of playing, which is to win and score more goals than our opponents, regardless of who they are. We’ll wait and see if the ‘BBC’ all play.
“We’re playing for three very important points, but we’ll keep fighting for the League until the end.
“[Keylor Navas] is getting better, has already made participated in a couple of training sessions with the team and is doing well. I’m optimistic.
“If we play at our stadium and in front of our fans, I always think that Real Madrid are favourites, although it’s true that we’re playing against great opponents.
“We have guarantees that there will be people in charge of security. I’m sure everything will go okay and that we can enjoy a great game.”