Zinedine Zidane appeared at the press conference before the Valencia game at the weekend in a more positive mood than he was after the Copa defeat to Leganés just a few short days earlier when he admitted his job at the club was on the line. The Real Madrid manager is convinced they can turn around their critical situation and it starts on Saturday at the Mestall.
Do you feel that the players are failing? "No. The results are the most important because it means that some things are not working. But the players are trying to give their maximum and sometimes things don't work out like you hope. But it doesn't mean anything. We will continue with the same hope. It has been a year of ups and downs, with more downs than in previous years. But you can also learn from this situation, there are battles and games and we will think about the next one, and that is Valencia. As Ronaldo said, we have a game tomorrow and that is all we are interested in. To play well and win three points."
How do you feel about the critics, from being the best manager in the world to the worst? "It's not unjust. Everyone can have an opinion. I have hope, I want to get better as a manager and the squad think we can make things better. But I don't think about that tomorrow. Today, things are as they are and that's the way football is. Nobody is going to give up hope and continue working until the last day. All of us are disappointed, also the players, it bothers them what happened."
You don't regret anything, you didn't want singings and you always says that you are the one to blame. Of what are you to blame for exactly? "Of not winning the game after winning the first leg. Of not motivating the players sufficiently, above all at the start of the game. the first half was very bad. I didn't transmit enough things to win the game."
What is the problem this year? "There are things that happen over the course of a race. We have to keep working and think that, with this squad, we can change things. I am the only one who sees positive things in this squad. The challenge is to play when and when we can do that, we try to repeat it. Just like before against Leganés. To play good football and try to win. Football is about winning, it is the only thing that will give me peace of mind."
How do you recover confidence? "This changes quickly and we have to turn it around but feeling positive. We can make things better but also there are things that we did well. It's true that when they score the second goal, mentally it's very difficult and we didn't know how to change the game. Our opponent had more hunger than us."
Do you see the squad with the same enthusiasm, can they win the Champions League? "The important thing is the next game and the players have the tranquility to get out of this. In this club, things like this have always happened, they haven't always been good things but we don't accept the situation. We want to fight and to lift ourselves up, I am telling you. And do everything possible to win the Champions League."