James Rodriguez must be patient to reclaim his starting spot at Real Madrid, according to Colombia coach Jose Pekerman.
Rodriguez has played a bit-part at Madrid this season – making just two 90 minute appearances in La Liga since his return from injury in November.
Pekerman revealed he had to keep James calm when Rafael Benitez was in-charge of Madrid, and has urged him to remain patient under new boss Zinedine Zidane.
“He has to have patience,” he told Marca. “We all want him to be starting and that translates to the national team.
“With whatever happens we need him to be positive.
“In this last stage we haven’t spoken, since the end of the year. He had many expectations with a change of coach. He wanted the situation with Benitez to be resolved because he had memories of his last season.
“I was keeping him calm. I still think the change at Madrid will be positive.”
Pekermain hailed James’ professionalism and backed him to get out of his rut.
“I still believe James is a great professional, and he knows what it means to represent your country, and he has the mentality to move forward,” he said.
“It is a negative moment and it’s an experience for a youngster who has grown really fast.
“Like the biggest figures, they have their drawbacks, but they never lose the hope to get it back.”
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