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Post-Match Press Conference: Athletic Bilbao 1 - 2 Real Madrid

Zidane: “We were looking for balance and trying to be compact defensively with Lucas Vázquez coming on.”

Athletic Club v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Zidane took questions from the press after a difficult win away at San Mamés.

On the Match

We won at a very difficult ground, we had to dig in but we played with real character. It was extremely important to win today and keep on track. There are 11 games left in the league and every single one will be crucial, against some very tough opposition.

We're top of the table but that doesn't mean anything. We managed the game very well. The great thing is, we knew how difficult it would be to win here, but we've done so and we move on. Athletic are a side who fight until the end and they caused us problems. They're very strong from set-pieces. Williams is a young player with real energy, he's got quality and he can cause problems, but ultimately we managed to stop him.

On the International break

Few players will get a rest. Some will even be playing significant games, but there's nothing we can do about it. The players go away with their national teams and we can't change that. I can rest up a bit, but they won't have chance to do so. When they come back we've got nine games in 25 days and that's when we'll have it all to play for. I'm sure we're going to need every player. I won't be speaking to any national coaches telling them to leave players out.

On Key Player Performances

Karim played a great game and Casemiro the same in the middle of the park. I was looking for a bit more balance with the changes. Cristiano Ronaldo can be taken off once in a while, it's no problem. He was happy with the win. Bale kept helping the team right until the final ball.

On the Modric Substitution

We were looking for balance and trying to be compact defensively with Lucas Vázquez coming on. It wasn't a backwards step, just looking for a bit more balance and solidity.

On Keylor Navas

This debate has been closed for a long time. We're behind him, as we are Casilla and Rubén as well. We're all very much together and that's how we must continue. There are times when you'll make mistakes but he made some great saves today and thanks to him and the rest of his teammates, we come away with three important points.

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