Zidane: “I’ll never throw down the gauntlet to the club, the fans or the chairman”

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Real Madrid manager was clear, he does not want signings, either in the goalkeeping position or up front

Zinedine Zidane met the press with a delay of more than an hour and a half on the scheduled time, owing to his having given his squad an hour-long talking-to before this Tuesday’s training session, ahead of the Copa del Rey game against Numancia tomorrow. The Blanco coach showed his most critical side, especially with the press, and said he did not want any signings.

The return game against Numancia

“We’ve got a return match and we want to finish the tie well. We know we have a 3-0 advantage, but we want to play well and get through to the next round.”

Talking to the squad

“I’m not going to tell you what we were talking about. They’re chats, like every team hs. We’re here to find solutions, talk and try to make things better. It was a conversation that went on a little longer than others, but nothing else. When what we want to happen doesn’t, we have to think about how we are working. The players think the same way, and you have to work more than ever in every way. It’s not something that is physical or mental. It’s a bit of everything. We must carry on, and be stronger. There’s no other option. I don’t talk if I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t do it for the sake of it. When we meet, it is to get something out of that meeting”

Signings

“I don’t need anyone. That’s that. To be absolutely clear: I don’t want anybody. We have a squad, we started with them and I believe in my players. It’s been a difficult start, like never before, as you have been conveying, I think there is still everything to play for. Let’s see what happens at the end of the season, which is the time to analyse things. If then there have to be changes, then there will be changes.”

No revolution

“There are a lot of games to go and I’m going to need everyone. A lot of people think there are some players who are not up to the task and shouldn’t play. I think the opposite: when a player isn’t playing well, you have to help him and work things out. I don’t think that when things are going badly you should heap the blame on other people. We’re all to blame, me more than anyone, because I’m the manager. We’ve had two amazing years, and it’s important to tell people that, let them know what we’ve achieved. The most important thing now is the next game, not what we did 15 or 20 days ago. I can’t say, as many people are, that we were crap against Celta. No, we did some things right. And I have to ask, are things any worse because we only got a draw? Yes, but we’re not going to go crazy about it. With hard work we can achieve good things.”

Confrontation with Florentino

“I believe in my squad. Do you want to tell me that I’m going to change my mind in three months time because of some bad results? I’m annoyed by the comments that you make and that you think that I’m throwing down the gauntlet to the chairman and the club. I’m just another person here, nobody is above Real Madrid. I’ll never throw down the gauntlet to the club, the fans or the chairman who has put me here. When I talk about my squad, it’s because I believe in them, and I’ll defend them to the death. Those are my values. I believe in them and I’ll stick with them to the end, until they replace me.”

Problems against Celta!

“We gave away the ball too easily and that’s not usual. We also dropped off a lot in the second half. We have to talk, say what we think and help everyone improve. I know that everyone can make their contribution, and more so when things get a little ugly. That’s when we need a little bit from everyone.”

His own frame of mind

“I’m not happy with the situation. I’d like it if we were doing better in the league. We can improve, of course we can improve. What I have to do, though, is keep working and giving my best. That’s what I’m most interested in, that and trying to get my players to do the same. If that’s not enough, then we have to try to get everyone to give a little more.”

Criticism

“Criticism isn’t going to change me, I’m not hurt by it. The manager’s job, I knew what it was going to be like. I knew it was difficult, and I prepared every day for three and a half years knowing that this could happen. Even more so in here [the press room]. Not everything can ever turn out right, but nobody, no comments, nothing is ever going to take away my desire to keep working hard.”

 



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