Solari: Real Madrid coach's pre-LaLiga Clásico press conference
Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari spoke to the media ahead of Saturday's LaLiga clash with Barcelona, which comes three days after Los Blancos were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by their arch rivals.
Solari's press conference ahead of Saturday's LaLiga Clásico:
Lifting his players after Wednesday's Copa del Rey elimination by Barcelona: "We've picked up ourselves back up and we're raring to go out there and win the three points. Fate has pitted us against the same opposition. We'll approach the game with the same desire and the same spirit as the previous one, and we'll look to improve on what we can and keep doing what we did well."
Difficult picking the team with crucial Champions League clash against Ajax coming up on Tuesday? "We just have to focus on the next game. We need to cut the gap at the top of the table, and that's what we'll be out to do. If it wasn't a Clásico, we'd still be purely focused on this game, because it's the next one. It is of course part of your job [as coach] to also think further ahead, but it must always be the next game that is the focus of your energy."
Vinicius: "I like to look at all the positive things my players do. When it comes to Vinicius, there are a lot of positives: his skill, his quality, his hard work, his willingness to learn, the way he deals with pressure... that's a lot of things in not much time at all. It's down to him and to those of us around him to make sure he improves in every way he can."
Read also: Vinicius receives maiden Brazil call-up
Isco: "He was out injured for 18 days. He's been [training] with the group for four or five days, he's doing well and he's available, which is the most important thing. Apart from [Marcos] Llorente, we've got pretty much everyone at our disposal, and that speaks volumes for the good work being done by the club in several departments."
Lack of cutting edge in front of goal in Barça defeat: "Apart from in the last game, we've scored goals, and scored quite a few. The other day there were chances that should have gone in that didn't, but that's football. Tomorrow we have the chance to put away the ones that we didn't the other day."
Positives from loss: "They only had two shots on target. I know it seems difficult to say in view of the result, but there were things that we did really well. Scoring at the right time changes the course of the game, but having said that you can't start thinking like that: that's not how it turned out, and we can't dwell on what might have been."
Big names on the fringes: "They remain important players. [Gareth] Bale has played in every game since he returned from injury, and he's scoring goals. He did so in the Club World Cup, in the Champions League final... We all know how significant a figure Marcelo is. And [Marco] Asensio has played since he came back from injury and scored the goal that gave us our [first-leg] advantage in Amsterdam. Everyone is important, not just the players who start the games. Trophies are won by squads as a whole."
Whistles for Bale on Wednesday: "I don't have anything to say to the fans. They know what he has done for this club. The fans generally express themselves with respect, and are able to appreciate what their players have given to the club."
Sergio Ramos' two-match UEFA ban, with the captain given an additional game for forcing a yellow card in Amsterdam: "I'm not going to get into that because we have a league game to play first. We can talk about that on Monday."