Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has rubbished suggestions that he is under pressure “to pick a team that makes the players happy”.
Zidane has continued to stick with BBC, despite the attacking trio’s lack of goals compared to Barcelona’s MSN, while keeping James Rodriguez in the periphery and failing to plug the side’s leaky defence, but the Coach made it clear he called the shots.
“I’d never pick a team that makes the players happy. I’ve been a player and if you play or don’t play, everyone is never going to be happy,” he said at a Press conference ahead of Sunday’s early kick-off against Leganes.
“I would’ve liked the team to have played 90 minutes of high quality, but we did for only half an hour. What people say is out of my control.
“I’m responsible for only a small part when things go well, and if things go wrong then I’m also responsible and I assume [my responsibilities].
“I’m the one that tells the players what they have to do on the pitch. They’re not doing things badly, I get the impression that we’re doing things badly because of all the questions, but to me things don’t seem as bad as they are.
“There’s always going to be criticism. The only thing I want is for us to forget this match. It was a strange game, but I’ve lived with criticism for 30 years.
“I’ll try to improve things and nothing else. We must improve, that’s very clear, but I don’t agree that we’ve only had two or three good games in a row. I’m not looking for excuses. We have to work on the pitch.
“I don’t know why we threw away our lead, it’s part of football and I’m not worried. I don’t like us conceding goals, the players less so.
“It’s a matter for everyone, not just the back four or midfielders. We can all do better. We have to stay calm and try again to concede tomorrow.
“This game can go well for us because we know what we want. We know it’ll be difficult, I’ll always think I have the best squad in the world but I know that isn’t enough.
“We have to be at our best and that’s the most difficult thing, consistency. It’s the most complicated thing in football and life in general.
“Every player is special. What I try to do is show the group that they are all important.
“So far, it’s clear that James has had only a few minutes. We have other players, but the idea I have with James is the same. I think he’s an important player for the team, who can help us.
“I know the player wants to play more, like everyone else, but I try to name a team for every game and [his statements about wanting to play more] won’t change anything.
“He’s an important player like the others, after that everyone can have their say. I don’t have to say any more than this. I want him to be here and hope he’ll get to play more.
“Modric? He’s with us in the squad, the idea is for him to have minutes, so we’ll see. The most important thing, though, is that he is fine and has fully recovered.
“Benzema? He’ll be absent tomorrow. He felt discomfort after the match against Legia and noticed something in the hamstring, we don’t know exactly what he has, but we’re not going to risk a player who has a knock.
“We are as we are, we have a new fitness coach and we’re working well. I think we’re okay, we can be better, but playing every three days is difficult for winning things.
“Now we’ll play, rest and work a bit on tactics. When the break starts, the problem is that everyone will go, but we’re fine and I can’t complain.
“Leganes? We know that tomorrow will pose a different but tricky away game. They move about well and can play.
“We have to stay focused and prepare well if we want to have a good game.”