NEWS
Sunday January 6 2019
Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari: Don't downplay draws!

Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari has urged fans and pundits not to ‘downplay’ draws and backed Isco to fill in for the injured Gareth Bale.

Madrid dropped points against Villarreal on Thursday, allowing Alaves to leapfrog them into fourth place with victory over Valencia, while Isco has the chance to capitalise on Bale’s latest calf injury.

“It’s going to be an intense month, with games every three days, and we need to put our energy levels into every game,” Solari said at a Press conference for Sunday’s visit of Real Sociedad in La Liga.

“We need to get our injured players back and ensure we don’t get any more. Players aren’t machines and competing is hard every three days.

“We need to keep winning in the League so we can climb the table. We know we have to keep cutting the deficit and fight until the end.

“It’s going to be a fight to the end. You see the character of a team at times of adversity. We’re aware that our start to the season hasn’t been easy, so we have to keep cutting the deficit.

“We’ve gone from ninth to fourth, but we can still get higher. That’s our challenge. We’re happy with what we’re doing, but we know we have to keep cutting the deficit, that’s obvious. It’s maths.

“This is competition. Here no-one gives you anything. The League is very competitive and it’s not easy to pick up points.

“We can’t downplay draws. We have to keep putting up fights, going out to win every game. We had a good first half at Villarreal and we could’ve won the three points.

“However, it wasn’t possible so we’ll try to get them this Sunday. Marcelo’s had a complicated first half to the season.

“He suffered three injuries but has slowly picked up the pace. It’s crucial that he doesn’t injure himself again. He’s crucial for the team and club.

“We have 24 players and anyone can play at any time. Of course there are some who have a track record, a history with us.

“After that, we have some young players who need minutes. Isco has so much quality that he can play in any position. He can beat his man with his creativity.”

Football Italia website