Carlo Ancelotti met with the press the day before the club returns to the pitch against Malaga and discussed several topics. On the game tomorrow, Ancelotti feels confident that the players will be in physical form and have learned from what went wrong in the previous few weeks.
I expect a good match for Real Madrid. I am sure that we will improve on this game. The players already understand what went wrong in the previous meetings and I'm sure that tomorrow will be different. After the match against Levante we have not trained with all the players, but the players see more concentrated. Tomorrow I will give priority to players who have not played international matches.
Regarding Bale's injury which some in the press appear to have slightly overstated, Carlo was optimistic about the Welshman's prognosis and shot down some of the rumors of the extent of his injury.
His problem is that he has not had a preseason. He is a well-prepared player to play at this time. I have had three disc protrusions and they have never given me problems in my career. It is a normal problem for a player. Tomorrow I want, and will try, to give him minutes.
Varane will not see action tomorrow but could return for the two big games against Juventus and Barcelona.
He has a little bit of an inflamed knee. He will probably play on Wednesday. He was out four months and we have to be careful with him because he is young and a major player.
Iker Casillas spoke recently about playing time and his place in the club as well as his future but Carlo has not sat down with him yet to discuss matters but has reiterated that it is normal to want to play.
I have not spoken to him about it. He is a great goalie and a great professional. He is a captain and nothing else.
On Benzema and his two goals which he contributed for the national team this week, Carlo stated that it is important for a striker to improve confidence in himself because the young players are pushing but if he plays against Malaga then the club will be fine.
With the team having ups and downs on offense and defense, Carlo noted that Marcelo needs to show more on defense, though his offense is a clear boost.
He has great offensive skill but needs to improve defensively, as does the whole team. Our problem is not scoring goals but fitting them. We all have to work harder for it. Marcelo really helps the team finding positive offensive solutions.
He is happy and confident. He can play in many positions in the midfield and has great strength and power. He is important for us.
Lastly, Ancelotti was upbeat in regards to his relationship with Perez which is important when the club is clearly not cruising on all cylinders as many expected.
I have a very good relationship with him. We talk almost every day and he knows that I am not happy because we can play better. I am calm because every day he expresses confidence and serenity.
Another interview, another relatively positive outlook from The Eyebrow noting that tomorrow should bring about a different Real Madrid team in terms of performance. (Fingers crossed.)