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Zidane: "I can understand James is angry; I've got nothing against him"

The Madrid coach praised Asensio but scolded the team for letting in two goals in two minutes. As for Saturday's derby: "We're ready", he said
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Zidane: "I can understand James is angry; I've got nothing against him"
Kiko HuescaEFE

Zinedine Zidane had praise for his team after Wednesday's 2-4 win at Leganés but the Madrid coach reproached his players for letting in two goals in as many minutes at Butarque.

Overview: “At the end of the day it's three more points. It was a bit of a strange game. We started well, scored three goals but later landed ourselves in difficulties with the two goals we let in. Later, we managed to control the game better and after grabbing another goal we are going home with three points”.

James Rodríguez
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Zidane bemoans conceding goals in quick succession

The team losing concentration: “That shouldn't happen. Conceding two goals in just over one minute is not right. But anyway... For that reason we can always improve and that's what we should do. The wonder of football is that you never know what will happen. We are in a good run of form and it was important to win befgore the derby”.

Heavy rotation - nine changes: “People always see it as being too risky but it isn't. I have an amazing group of players who work very hard. I need all of them to be able to win the big competitions - not just 12 or 13”.

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No issues with James, says Zidane

James, angry at being taken off: “Yes, I can understand it perfectly. But I have to make a change to the team, I understand him being angry about it. No we haven't spoken about it in the dressing room. It's normal for a player who starts to want to complete the full 90 minutes. These things happen and that's all there is to it. I was pleased with the game he put in tonight and that's that”.

Is James becoming a problem? “I'm smiling because you always ask me the same question. And I'll tell you straight - I don't have any problem with James - I have nothing against him, quite the opposite. It's true that he regularly gets taken off but that's because he is a forward and there are the first to be substituted because they are the ones who work hardest. I'm happy with James. It's normal for him to feel upset when he gets taken off but it's not a big deal. I try to do what is best for the team. James is important for us - just like the rest are and he is going to continue being important for me, for the team and for everyone”.

How are Madrid going into Saturday's derby? “We're fine. Every game is different. We know we have a nice game coming up this weekend - we're at home, we'll see how it turns out...”

Is Asensio giving you a selection headache? “Yes, he had a great game. We know about Marco's quality. All of the players give you difficulties when it's time to make up the team list but that's what they're there for and how it should be. They're all doing well, and we are going to need all of them. I'm always asked about the first team regulars and the subs - we are all in the same boat, we are doing well, but we have a way to go yet and we'll need everyone”.

Update 12 May 2017: James has reached an initial agreement with Manchester United.


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