Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane talked to the media at Valdebebas ahead of Sunday’s home game against Athletic Bilbao, which will be their last of 2019. The Frenchman was asked about Madrid’s inability to finish their chances lately but refused to say he’s worry.
“No, we are not lacking firepower. We couldn’t score the other day, but it was just in that particular game. It’s clear we can always improve, but it was just a specific game,” said Zidane.
The coach also wanted to praise Pep Guardiola ahead of Madrid’s tie against Manchester City in the Round of 16.
“It will be special to face him, I played so many times against him. I respected him as a player and I respect him as a coach, I think he’s the world’s best coach, he’s proved it many times in his career and of course I will enjoy facing his team,” explained Zidane.
The French coach was also asked about VAR right after their decision not to call a penalty in favor of Real Madrid during the past El Clasico.
“VAR is important for football but it’s clear that it can be improved. Everyone wants it to be improved and that’s what will happen, everyone can make mistakes,” he said.
Isco has regained his confidence and importance within Real Madrid and Zidane praised his work ethic.
“He’s having a relevant role again because he’s a very good player. He always trains very well because he wants to play. We know he can contribute and his current role is due to his work ethic.”
Real Madrid have been shooting from distance more often lately and Zidane admitted that it’s part of their plan.
“Yes, I’m encouraging the players to do it because we have many players here who can shoot it very well, it’s a weapon we can take advantage of,” he explained.
James Rodriguez trained with the squad for the first time in two months this week and Zidane said that he wants him back with the team making an impact.
“He’s working a lot, little by little. His injury was quite bad. You’ll see what happens with the squad list tomorrow but we want him back, that’s for sure. He’s still regaining form and confidence but we want him back, definitely,” concluded Zidane.