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Ancelotti hints at Hernandez mistake

Carlo Ancelotti has acknowledged he should have looked to use Javier Hernandez earlier in the season with the Mexican back among the goals for Real Madrid.

The Manchester United loanee was used sparingly during the first few months of his spell at the Santiago Bernabeu before injuries to Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale offered him a starting berth against Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

With Benzema, Bale and Luka Modric all out, Hernandez was the hero against Atletico – scoring two minutes from time to ensure progression – before then netting twice in Sunday’s 4-2 win at Celta Vigo.

Hernandez is set to keep his place for Wednesday’s visit of Almeria and Ancelotti said: “How many times do I make mistakes? I have to pick 11 players.

“You can make mistakes but you can’t spend time thinking about what you’ve done wrong.

“He’s done well, helped the side and hopefully he can continue.

“[A permanent transfer] is something we will analyse at the end of the season. I’m happy with his work through the year, he’s very professional and has made the most of his opportunity.

“For a manager to work alongside a player who is always ready and grabs his opportunities is very positive. It’s a very good thing.”

Ancelotti also revealed that 16-year-old Martin Odegaard could make his first-team debut following the much-discussed transfer from Stromsgodset.

“Odegaard, [Borja] Mayoral and [Diego] Llorente are three players in the squad and I expect them to be on the bench, maybe they may get a run-out,” he added.

“It’s a key part of the season, we have to prepare for this encounter and be focused. We know it’s going to be at an important time.

“It’s very demanding and exciting. From now until May 13 it’s going to decide our season.

“There are injured players coming back and I’m pretty sure we can compete in all those games. 

“We’re not thinking of [leaders] Barcelona and if they drop points.”

Tue 28 Apr, 2015
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