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Zidane: “There’s a need for balance between defence and attack”

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The coach previewed the Granada match and the final week of the LaLiga season. 

Real Madrid v Deportivo Alaves - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Real Madrid will take on Europa League-chasing Granada on Monday night and Zinedine Zidane insisted time and time again in his latest press conference that this fixture is the only thing on his mind.

“Here we are in the final week, with three matches,” he said. “Surely it’s the most difficult week because it’s the end of the season. Almost everyone is playing for something. But, we aren’t thinking about the three matches right now. We’re putting all of our energy into tomorrow’s game. We’re not thinking about the maths of when we could win the league, as we’re just thinking about tomorrow’s match.”

Real Madrid’s excellent form since the restart has partly been down to their physical preparations. As such, Zidane was asked about fitness coach Grégory Dupont and his impact since he arrived at the club last summer to replace Antonio Pintus. On Dupont, Zidane said: “He is a very good fitness coach. There are many competent people at this club and he is one of them. What he’s doing in terms of preparing the players has been very good. We now need to keep this up.”

Real Madrid haven’t conceded in 457 minutes and the defensive solidity has been key to the recent victories. Zidane was asked about this and also asked if he thinks the team should be more attacking. He said: “I’m happy for Thibaut Courtois and the season he’s having and for the team as a whole. There’s a need for balance between defence and attack. Everyone can think what they want about our performances. We’re Real Madrid, the biggest club in the world.”

He was also asked about Ferland Mendy’s season and his battle with Marcelo, but Zidane didn’t want to compare the two. “Marcelo is Marcelo and Mendy is Mendy,” he said.

James Rodríguez was also brought up, on the day of his 29th birthday, but Zidane didn’t have much to say about his recent absences from the matchday squads. He simply wanted to wish the Colombian a happy birthday.