Rafa Benitez has admitted that Real Madrid need Carlo Ancelotti’s “famous” balance ahead of Sunday’s trip to Valencia.
Speaking ahead of Los Blancos’ first game of 2016, which also marks the Coach’s first return to Mestalla in La Liga, he believes his side “lack consistency in some phases” and must strive to defend and attack in the right doses.
“It’s only at the end [of the season] when you can make assessments,” he said at a Press conference.
“[On the attitude of his players], I’m not going to give names. The feeling I have as a madridista is that the team lacks consistency in some phases.
“The idols whom the Bernabeu applaud are [Alfredo] di Stefano, Juanito, [Jose Antonio] Camacho, Pirri … players of lineage.
“We lack consistency at times, but we’re doing things which we are valued little because we are still alive in the League and Champions League.
“I’m sure we’ll do well at Mestalla. It’s not a matter of fitness because if we had a great second half at Villarreal then it’s not a question of legs but mentality and characteristics of the team because we’re an attacking team and need the ball.
“When we don’t have the ball, we suffer. We need [Carlo] Ancelotti’s famous balance.
“When we struggle, we lack mentality. The players are aware that sometimes we don’t control games, but we still give 100 percent.
“We must use games such as the first half against Atletico, Eibar and PSG [Paris Saint-Germain] as exponents.
“We must have the resilience we’ve lacked at times. The game is very difficult and emotional for me.
“Madrid suffered [at Mestalla] last season. I was born to be grateful and I thank Valencia, the city and the fans.
“It’s not just our intensity and defensive game but also our attacking.
“We must retrieve the ball quickly and aggressively and attack quickly. That’s intensity.
“When you start a match well and score goals, that’s intensity.
“[James Rodriguez and I] discussed a private matter. James is a good guy, sincere and has given the corresponding explanations. It’s a private matter and we must wait.
“I have total confidence [in the team] and I’m not thinking about any setbacks. I think we’ll do well and try to play a game which allows us to win.
“I joined Real Madrid as an experienced Coach, with many trophies to my name, and was hired by a President who has a plan.
“We must be patient and hopefully we can win games to achieve our objectives.
“I’m confident and I hope we can win and answer these questions … but only in the next two or three years.
“[Valencia] are a team with enthusiasm and young players, who will be very fired up against Real Madrid.
“If we play with intensity, it’ll help us a lot in regards to winning.
“[On Isco], some can play while others can’t. When they stop playing, they always ask me why they aren’t playing.
“I spoke to him [on Friday] because he trained very well.
“As a Coach, I always look for quality, but quality isn’t only dominating possession.
“The best players make sacrifices, show strength and always make the right decisions.”