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Bettoni: “Real Madrid fans should keep believing in their club”

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The assistant coach’s thoughts on the defeat.

ESP: Real Madrid-Levante UD La Liga Santander. Photo by Ruben Albarran/Pressinphoto / Icon Sport

Following Real Madrid’s 2-1 defeat to Levante, David Bettoni – who is filling in for Zinedine Zidane while he has COVID-19 – spoke to the media. Speaking generally, he said: “It’s a difficult loss, especially when we lost a player in the ninth minute. We scored, but then we conceded. I felt, though, like we started the second half well with one or two chances. But they scored and we tried to come back with some changes, but we couldn’t and it’s a tough loss. But, I saw a team with a good attitude and a good character. They had a lot of pride and a lot of character. Obviously, I saw a group of sad players in the dressing room, but it was a group that looked like they wanted to fight to the end.”

Bettoni was also asked why Real Madrid didn’t bring on Victor Chust when Éder Militão was sent off and he explained that there was a confidence in Casemiro’s abilities at that position. He said: “It has nothing to do with the age of Chust. When Militão was sent off, my first thought was to put on a centre-back, but then with a cooler head, and having spoken with the head coach, I thought that Casemiro could play there since he’s done so in training. We didn’t think putting on Chust and taking off a midfielder was the good option, so we put Casemiro at centre-back and kept a Kroos-Modrić partnership in midfield. I thought it was the fair and correct decision. But, it had nothing to do with Chust’s age.”

Another in-game decision that was questioned was the substitution off of Karim Benzema. On that, Bettoni said: “We don’t look at who is the top scorer or who isn’t. We have a second striker who is Mariano, and we wanted to put him on because he was fresher and it was one striker for another.”

Finally, he was asked what message he would give to Real Madrid fans about the title race. He said: “Real Madrid fans should keep believing in their club because the DNA of this club is always to fight to the end for all titles. In the second half, with 11 against 10, we went for it with 11 against 10, against a good team, pushing high. That’s a positive sign. We’re obviously disappointed, bit I think in terms of attitude all have seen a team that fought to the end.”