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Post-Match Press Conference: Real Madrid 2-1 Valencia

Zidane: “I've got the best full-backs in the world.”

Real Madrid Training and Press Conference Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Zidane praised his players in front of the press, following Real Madrid’s crucial victory over Valencia.

On the Game as a Whole

I'm pleased with everyone's performance. Valencia kept playing their game and we couldn't find the second goal to kill the game off. We're going to have to dig in until the end. We weren't clinical enough right from the start, perhaps we're a bit anxious or tense but we didn't let it get the better of us, we played our game and did a good job.

If you don't finish the game off, you're going to struggle. We managed to do it in La Coruña. Today we had chances to close the game out earlier so that's something we can still improve on. It's true that we had half an hour when we slipped into our comfort zone, but that changed after the Valencia goal.

On the Fans

The fans got behind us again after we conceded the goal and helped to drive the players on and there was a different feel to it. We know the stats about our goals in the final minutes, that's what makes football such a beautiful game and you can't spend too much time analyzing things. I can't explain the reason for it. It's special to win it in the last ten minutes, it's thrilling.

On James Rodríguez

He played very well and did the job asked of him, as they all did. I'm very happy with his performance, and with the performance of the team as a whole. It's true that if you don't get that second goal things can become difficult, and that was the case a bit today. But at 1-1, with the help of the fans, we got the second goal and we're happy.

On Marcelo and Carvajal

I've got the best full-backs in the world. They did their defensive work and today they were even more influential than usual going forward.

That's a big plus for the team. They're key players, but then so are all the players I have here, they're the best in the world.

When you're playing every three days and are 1-0 up, you might be inclined to try and manage the game a bit. We're aware what this club means and our fans can help us to find that extra bit of energy at the end of the games when we need them.

On Valencia

It's worst when the opposition don’t have anything to play for. They aren't under that pressure you get when there's something at stake and it makes it worse for us.

On Isco

You'll see on Tuesday whether he starts. He's certainly in tremendous form at the moment. He made the starting line-up the other day in La Coruña. Ultimately, I have to think about the group and you'll see how we set up on Tuesday. I don't think of it in terms of an A and B-team, we're a group.

On Varane’s Availability

He'll be available for Tuesday. He made his return against Deportivo, but now at the end of the season we have to be careful with Varane. There's nothing wrong with him, but we can't be taking any risks. Last time round he picked up another injury and I don't want that to happen again. I want him to rest up. With the injury to Pepe we can't be taking any risks.

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