Real Madrid: What Zinedine Zidane had to say ahead of the fixture against Real Sociedad

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 09: Head coach Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid attends a press conference at Valdebebas training ground on February 9, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 09: Head coach Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid attends a press conference at Valdebebas training ground on February 9, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid will play host to 14th place Real Sociedad Saturday in La Liga play. Los Blancos will be looking to use this match to stay ahead of Villareal who is just two points back from the fourth place spot. Here is a look at what Manager Zinadene Zidane had to say in the pre-match presser.

All quotes are directly from the official Real Madrid website.

Opening Statement

"“We’re just focused on this game. We want to put in a good performance and it won’t be an easy match against tough opposition. It’s an important LaLiga fixture and we want to take three points.”“We need to do what we know we’re capable of for 90 minutes. We want to pick up points in LaLiga and close the gap on the leaders, without letting our minds drift to Wednesday’s game. We’ve worked on all the necessary elements for tomorrow during the week and we hope we can put them into practice on the pitch. We believe we can still do big things this season.”"

Zidane on the busy and demanding February

“It’s the way it is and from Wednesday onwards we’ll have to face up to it. It’s great because we want to play. We’ve had two weeks to do a bit more work and now the games are coming thick and fast and it’s great to be playing because that’s exactly what the players want.”

Vote of confidence for Cristiano Ronaldo

“He’s an exceptional player and it’s true that there has been a spell when he’s not scored so many goals, but he’s always proven that he turns up at the crucial moments, he’s a real big game player.”

Sending positive vibes to Madridistas

“We want them to get behind us and we believe they’ll respond and be with us to the end whatever happens.”

“I don’t know that there’s a lack of respect for my team. All I’m interested in is working hard. I can’t control what people are saying. Sometimes things don’t go as we’d like them to but we know who we are and during tough spells we have to keep going, working hard and thinking positively. We know the weapons we possess and everything can change very quickly.”

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Inability to string up positive results

"“We played well against Deportivo and Valencia. Consistency has been the problem. You might slip up over the course of a season but we’ve still got a challenge awaiting us and we’ll do all we can. We believe we can do great things and that’s all I care about. I want my players to go out and play, be aggressive in the best possible sense, defend, battle hard. That’s what we train for when we prepare for matches.”“It’s a mix of several things. When things go well it’s a combination of many elements, and the same is true the other way. We’re just trying to find some consistency, we’ve not won seven or eight games in a row. We’re missing some good performances and we can turn this around because we’re more than capable.”"

The Isco fiasco

“A while back you were asking me why he hadn’t signed. I believe in my team and will do so until the end. I put my all into everything I do and I believe in it wholeheartedly. I want him to spend his entire career here and that won’t change. He’s a superb player and he’s shown that, it’s not true we want to sell him. Every member of this squad is crucial. We have so many games and I’ll have to call on all of them. I’m the one with the difficult job of picking the team.”

Next weeks Valentine’s Date with PSG

“We’re going to give it our all. Nobody knows what will happen on Wednesday but we want to see a good performance. We know it’ll be tough but we’re not worried. These are the kinds of games players love to be involved in.”

Carvajal’s ineligibility next week

“Whatever I say, it won’t change anything, so I’ll keep it to myself. I’m not going to waste my time on this.”

My thoughts

This February, Real Madrid have seven matches to play, six in La Liga and one in the Champions League. Last week marked the first of seven matches to be played and resulted in a draw, not the greatest start. The glass-half-full outlook on that is that Real Madrid can only go up from here.

Zidane had stressed that the focus of the players right now is on the 90 minutes that will be played Saturday and not on Wednesday. With seven games in 28 days, this kind of approach will greatly help the squad. Not only is next weeks Champions League match crucial to saving a subpar season, but ensure at least a top-four finish in La Liga.

Zizou said that the squad believes they can still do big things before the end of the season and now is the time to show that. Finishing second and progressing in the Champions League will sweeten up the bitter taste in the mouths of many fans.

Next: Real Madrid vs. Real Sociedad: Three things to watch for

In addressing the Isco trade rumors, it was a great reassurance to Isco himself as well as the fans that don’t want to see him depart. Zoning in on what is left of the season is important to its salvation and with players feeling that they are unwanted would bring about negative outcomes.

Zinedine has shown a wealth of class and poise yet again but let’s hope those reassuring words result in a performance that matches.

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