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Zidane: "Benzema knows he has to give more..."

Real Madrid's coach spoke ahead of the APOEL game: "Will we sign anyone in January? When the time comes, we'll talk about it".


Zinedine Zidane attended the press in Nicosia, on the eve of Real Madrid's Champions League meeting with APOEL. The coach talked about the poor moment which Karim Benzema is going through but says whatever happens, he will always look on the positive side.

Benzema in training at GSP stadium this evening
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Benzema in training at GSP stadium this eveningJAVIER GANDULDIARIO AS

Morale still high after Madrid derby, says Zidane

How are the players feeling in terms of morale?

Good, what we want is to see the same determination that we saw at the weekend. We're one step away from making the next round and tomorrow, we want to take all three points.

And Benzema? His lack of goals is affecting the team…

It's a bit of everything. He's the first one who wants to give more, he knows he can give more. But it's actually the other way around, we're here to help the players. All of us are feeling better. Confidence brings goals, you can't really say that we're playing badly. The thing about goals is you only need to start putting them away - one, two… and the barren run is suddenly over. We are hoping it will change tomorrow.

Have you ruled out signing anyone in the winter transfer window?

Now's not really the time to talk about that. When the moment arrives, we'll talk but all that matters to me right now is tomorrow's game and playing with the squad I have. We know it's not going to be an easy game, APOEL are doing well in the Champions League. We need to be fully focused and thinking only about this game. We know the difficulties we'll face.

Real Madrid training at GSP stadium in Nicosia
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Real Madrid training at GSP stadium in NicosiaJAVIER GANDULDIARIO AS

Zidane the eternal optimist

Have you always been an optimist?

Yes, always. Because I've been so lucky - first of all with having good health. After that, being able to do what I am passionate about. I enjoy what I do. So I am always going to be positive. There are lots of other jobs which aren't so easy. Whatever happens, I'll remain an optimist, I believe in the resources we have here. There were moments last season when some people were worried, but I never was.

Real Madrid training at GSP stadium in Nicosia
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Real Madrid training at GSP stadium in NicosiaJAVIER GANDULDIARIO AS

Asensio and Ceballo's time will come

Are you concerned that players like Asensio and Ceballos could get discouraged if they never play?

That's something you have to ask them, it's important to talk to them every so often, because they are here to work, they're still young. Just look at Asensio's trajectory. He was playing less but he's playing more now. It will be the same for Ceballos. They both have great futures ahead of them, as so have Llorente, Achraf… This is the path they need to take. It's normal. Every player in this team has a future ahead of them.

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