Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Zidane calls on Madrid stars to be more clincal

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 1 Oct 2016


Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane wants to see more cutting edge from his all-star attack as they seek to end a run of three consecutive draws in Sunday’s LaLiga match against Eibar.

Domestic stalemates with Villarreal and Las Palmas were followed by Borussia Dortmund twice coming from behind to claim a 2-2 Champions League draw with the European champions in midweek.

Madrid’s lead in Spain’s top flight is down to one point ahead of the weekend matches and, although Zidane is happy with his team’s performances overall, he feels they could do with a ruthless streak.

“To win we have to create chances,” he told a pre-match news conference. That’s what we’re doing but we need to be a bit more efficient

“Perhaps we’ve lacked a bit up front, not scoring an extra goal.

“If you’re only one goal ahead then anything can happen like in Dortmund or Las Palmas.”

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring at Signal Iduna Park but his post-Euro 2016 form has once again come under the microscope – something Zidane finds a little tiresome.

“I’m not worried about getting Cristiano back to his best,” he said. “He’s working very hard. His form is going to get better and better

“People always say if he hasn’t scored he has played badly. I don’t see it like that. He is getting better every day, little by little.”

Karim Benzema has only two goals to his name in seven outings this term and the striker will continue to build form and fitness with Madrid after he was once again omitted from the French national team.

“The problem is with the French coach [Didier Deschamps], you have to ask him. All I know is Karim is a very important player for us,” Zidane added.

“I’m not going to get involved in the picking of the French squad.

“He works well with us and we are playing well with him. What I want is to get him back to his best level and that’s what we’ll do, little by little.”

Zidane will once again be without left-backs Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao, although he expects the former to return from a calf strain after the international break.

Isco will be away with Spain during the break despite having a limited amount of playing time so far this season, but Zidane confirmed the midfielder would feature versus Eibar.

Meanwhile Luka Modric is set to miss out after the club confirmed the Croatia international has a left knee injury.

“Yes, Isco is going to play because he’s in good shape, he’s an important player,” Zidane added. “If he’s with the national team it’s for a reason.

“It’s probably a difficult decision to pick him [for Spain] with the minutes he’s played, but he has quality.

“He’s in good shape, he’s training without any problems. He’s an important player for our squad and he’s going to play.”



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