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Zidane: “We weren’t so bad before, nor are we so good now”

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The coach called for his players to remain grounded.

Atalanta v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg One Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

While happy with his team’s good run of form, Zinedine Zidane has called for his players to avoid becoming complacent as they take on Real Sociedad on Monday night, looking for what would be a sixth win in a row.

The series of five consecutive victories started after Zidane’s angry pre-Huesca press conference, but the coach doesn’t believe his words then changed much. Speaking this Sunday, he said: “We weren’t so bad before, nor are we so good now. We’ve not won anything yet. The season is long and there are still many matches left, with 42 points left to play for. The title race is still alive. Today I hear that it’s a three-team title race, but tomorrow you might say something else.”

Analysing the Monday night opponents Real Sociedad, Zidane had praise for the way they play. He said: “They’re a team who know how to play well. But we’ll be the home team and we’ll go out determined to collect the three points.”

Isco was brought up in the press conference and Zidane admitted that the playmaker might not be given a second consecutive start. But, if that is the case, it won’t necessarily be Isco’s fault. He said: “I, as the coach, have to distribute the available minutes. That’s not easy. We’re always counting on Isco, but don’t think it’s his fault if he doesn’t play. It’s just that he can play in two or three positions and not in 40 positions.”

Finally, the issue of Sergio Ramos’ contract was brought up again and Zidane expressed frustration at being asked similar questions time and time again. He sighed: “What a question, man. What can I say? I’ll repeat myself to respect your question. I want the situation to be sorted soon. But, we’re focusing on tomorrow’s match.”