Zinedine Zidane has admitted that Real Madrid’s season rests on Tuesday but is not expecting a bad reception from fans against Eibar in La Liga this weekend.
Madrid were stunned by Wolfsburg in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, having failed to score any away goals in a 2-0 defeat, but Zidane insists he relishes tough challenges and is urging the club to come together for their moment of truth.
“I don’t expect a bad reception from the fans,” he said at a Press conference.
“We know that on Tuesday we’re playing for our season and the fans know that. I like difficult challenges and so do the Bernabeu. I know the fans well.
“There will be rotations certainly, but Cristiano [Ronaldo] will play.
“The Coach stakes his future in every game. I know what the stature of this club is, but I don’t look at it.
“What encourages me is what I’m doing every day. I’m encouraged by my daily work, I never think about the bad.
“I’m always positive, I'm fine with all these things. We’ll see what happens, but I’m positive.
“If we’re eliminated on Tuesday, it’s part of football. I assume my responsibility in this project and at the end of the season we’ll see.
“At the end of the game, maybe I was wrong when I spoke about intensity because we ran a lot and even more in the second half.
“We played well in the first 15 minutes, but our mistake was not turning the game around when they scored two goals.
“The players and I know that we have failed, but there’s no getting around it.
“What we we’re doing is good and we won’t change. When we beat Barca, it didn’t go to my head, so after this defeat I won’t go crazy. We know what we have to do.
“We didn’t lack intensity. I can confirm that we ran more than we did at Barcelona.
“We failed in something, that is clear, but when I said there was a lack of intensity [against Wolfsburg], I was wrong when I saw the game again.
“Then they scored two goals against us and we lost. I won’t get into the officials.
“I don’t regret playing Danilo. I take responsibility for what he did, but he didn’t do as badly as people said. It’s very easy to point the finger at Danilo, but I’m not like that.
“[On James Rodriguez laughing during the game], I don’t like these things, but it’s difficult.
“He knows anything can be caught in two or three seconds of TV footage, and it’s there to be learnt from.
“What happened doesn’t greatly influence anything. It’s something no-one likes, but he’s into the project like everyone.
“[On the comeback], I don’t advise betting because I’m not a gambling man and it’s better to avoid doing so, but it’s always said that Madrid are the favourites.
“I’ve always said that I like the idea of 50-50 and playing a game with difficulties.
“What we have to do is not drop any points in the League.
“The objective is to win tomorrow and nothing else. The most important thing to believe in is winning.”