Sunday, May 28, 2017

Zidane wants more from Ronaldo and Benzema

SoccerNews in La Liga 4 Feb 2017

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Zinedine Zidane insists he is not worried about the partnership between Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema but has called on the Real Madrid duo to improve their goalscoring form.

Both forwards have been subjected to jeers from some sections of the Santiago Bernabeu in recent home matches as a result of some less-than-convincing displays since the turn of the year.

Ronaldo appeared to offer a pointed retort to fans who whistled him during the 3-0 win over Real Sociedad last week, in which he managed a goal and an assist, while Benzema was again targeted after an unconvincing 66 minutes on the pitch.

Zidane admits that he would like to see more clinical displays from both players but says there is no reason to be concerned about their unconvincing partnership last Sunday.

“Last time, we played with Benzema and Cristiano up front,” he told a news conference. “But Ronaldo’s best position is on the left. I think he’ll finish his career in this position.

“We know that they can give more and we need more from them. 

“What you want as a coach is for your two or three forwards to score goals, but I’m not worried if they don’t link up so well in one game. It doesn’t matter.”

Zidane’s side are due to take on Celta Vigo at Balaidos on Sunday but the match is under threat of being postponed due to severe weather in the region, with a section of the stadium roof having already sustained damage.

Madrid were dumped out of the Copa del Rey on their last visit to Galicia and Zidane has called on his players to underline their title credentials on Sunday, should the game go ahead.

“The league is a different competition,” he said. “We will be playing with the same philosophy but different players [to the Copa game] but we are the league leaders and we have to show why we are up there.

“Every game for us now is important. It is a very difficult place for any team to go but we’ve had a great week and worked well so we are looking forward to it.”

Zidane confirmed that Pepe and James Rodriguez could be back in the matchday squad, although Gareth Bale and Luka Modric are not ready to return from respective ankle and thigh injuries.

“It’ll be a few more days for Bale,” he said. “Luka Modric, next week. Pepe has trained, James too. We’ll see who makes it into the squad.”

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