Zidane Wants Team to Keep Focus
Despite leading the crucial race for La Liga’s top spot, Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane knows that nothing must change for him and the rest of the team with 15 matches left in the season.
After a struggle in the early parts of the season that saw them losing seven matches, Madrid went over the slump to come up strong at the top of La Liga’s table with Barcelona slowly closing in on them.
With their rivals struggling after the recent sacking of former Barca boss Ernesto Valverde, the team took advantage and kept their pace strong as they continue to come alive on the second half of the season.
But for Zidane, it was all about maintaining their current focus and playing every single game with everything they’ve got. The coach wants his team to set their eyes on the prize and play it out one game at a time.
‘Defensively, what we are doing, we are doing well. It is our strength’, Zidane told reporters. ‘We defend all and when we lose the ball we recover it very high, and if we keep it we have a good chance of scoring’.
Zidane knows that now isn’t the time to get cocky and make strong claims, especially when there are still 15 games left in play for the club.
‘I don't want to talk about being champions because there is still a lot left to play. It changes nothing to be leaders, they are three important points but nothing more’, said Zidane. ‘There are a lot of league games left and it will be difficult for all teams, including us’.
The team’s recent wins have been piling up, and it has been impressive so far that the team has managed to carry on with the same pace after falling down early.
‘For us, nothing changes’, Zidane said. ‘We are happy with the victory, the work done having fought until the end, but nothing changes’.
Back in December, Karim Benzema vowed to lead the team to win La Liga’s crown. He is certainly making progress as the team shifts its focus to the closing games of the season.
‘I want to win this league title and, if I can help my team-mates with play and with words, I will do it’, said Benzema. ‘I'm the third captain and I have to help. I think it's a good point for us. It could be important for the rest of the league campaign as we look to do well’.
The El Clasico is still in play as well, and Benzema knows that the match means a lot to the team at this point.
‘What has changed compared to other seasons is the number of goals. I always try to help the team on the pitch and I have a lot of confidence in myself’, Benzema continued. ‘The help of my team-mates is also important to me because they give me the ball and set up chances for me to score more goals’.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores