REAL MADRID

Zidane: "We deserve the criticism"

Speaking ahead of Real Madrid's Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday, head coach Zinedine Zidane discussed the recent criticism, Sergio Ramos and defeat to Cádiz.

On the return of the Champions League

It's what we want. We are at home, it is a Champions League game and we are preparing for that. It is important to start in another competition. We have the league, the Champions League and the cup. It is a Champions League match and we want to start the competition well.

On the recent criticism

In the end we always talk about the same thing. We know what we have to do. Criticism when losing will always pass. We played a bad game and now there is another one to change that. We have to be together and to fight for everything that we have ahead.

On comparisons and reactions to defeats to Cádiz and Mallorca

In the two games we lost three points, that's the reality. I will not go into the details. We know what we want. There are games in which things don't work out for you, you have to face those setbacks. I don't know what will happen this season, what I can tell you is that we will try to do things well so that our people are proud. Sometimes it can be difficult like the other day.

On Madrid not being the favourite in this year's Champions League

We know who we are and what we want. The important thing is to prepare. Then there are many teams that want to win the Champions League and this club is part of that mix, trying to win the Champions League every year. It will be difficult, there will be difficult moments, as always. Even when you win it, you go through difficult moments over the season, it is logical. We want a lot and we expect a lot from the Champions League.

On Eden Hazard

His injury is a little more than anticipated. I fully trust the people who work with us here, who are on top of it. I hope that we will soon see Eden again.

Problems with the form of Marcelo and Isco

We are all in the same boat. Criticism is going to make us all stronger. It is logical considering the situation, there is a lot of criticism after a game like the one the other day. All we can do is go back to work. The good thing is that there is a game every three days. We all deserve the recent criticism, me first. Players fight, they try and sometimes things don't work out. We are going to try to change the dynamics in tomorrow's game, but there will always be criticism. Even when you are winning.

On Ramos

Sergio has a problem and so he has not trained with us this morning (Tuesday). We do not want to risk him with the discomfort he has. We'll see how he is tomorrow.

On the intensity of modern football

You are right, football has changed physically. There is a high intensity. For that you have to train hard. I am in favour of that, of going for the game, and pressing high. We know that we can put any team in difficulty by pressing. There is another way of playing further back, and waiting, but it is not my way.

On Isco

You ask me about Isco but the other day we could question the whole team, and also myself. We had a bad day.

Squad rotation ahead of Barcelona match

We're only focused on Shakhtar. This game is the one we're preparing for. I have seen that Shakhtar have lost some players, but it doesn't change anything. They are competitive, with a big squad. We have to be prepared as a team to play against a team that are good and have shown it.

Courtois' performance

He has always shown that he is a great goalkeeper, it was necessary for him to adapt when he arrived at a great club like Madrid. No one has doubted him. You can see how he improves every day, it is positive for the team and for him. If each player performs 100% we will be difficult to beat.