Zidane on Hazard and Casemiro testing positive for Covid-19: "We have to accept it"
Real Madrid will be without Eden Hazard and Casemiro in tomorrow's trip to Valencia. Zidane also spoke about Isco: "He's got to keep working".
Eden Hazard remains in good spirits despite being sidelined again at Real Madrid after testing positive for coronavirus. Madrid announced on Saturday that Hazard and Casemiro had returned a positive result for Covid-19, ruling them out of tomorrow's meeting with Valencia at Mestalla.
The Belgium international has featured just 25 times in all competitions for Madrid since arriving from Chelsea for €100million in June last year, scoring two goals and supplying four assists. In his final campaign at Stamford Bridge, he registered 16 goals and 15 assists in the Premier League alone. A persistent ankle problem blighted Hazard's first season with Madrid but Zidane assured he is not letting another setback get him down.
"Well, they're okay I think," Zidane said this afternoon when asked how Casemiro and Hazard were doing after their positive tests. "They're not happy with what's happened but they're okay and physically they don't have many symptoms, but we know it's tough. I left them a message and I'll speak to them later. This can happen and we just have to accept that."
Hazard is mentally strong
Asked specifically if he was worried about Hazard's state of mind, Zidane replied: "You know what he's like as a player. He's a strong player. It's a tough moment with injuries and everything but he's in good spirits, which is important. He has to wait a week now."
Due to the positive coronavirus cases Zidane was forced to quickly change his training plans on the eve of the trip to Valencia "We have to adapt to the situation. We know it could be worse.. It happened to [Eder] Militao the other day, to Eden and Casemiro today," the coach explained. "We have to accept it and keep going forward, because the strength is in the team unit. There are worse things that are happening, people are worse of elsewhere, but it's disconcerting that the training session today has been completely different the day before a game. It's disconcerting because you don't know what's going to happen, in what moment you're going to have positives or not and that's what's happened with these two players. They are responsible people but unfortunately it's happened. It could be worse. There are people in much worse situations who are really, really suffering outside of football. But in the world of football I'm a manager and I prefer to have them available for tomorrow obviously."
Zidane confirmed that Martin Ødegaard will be in the squad to face Valencia, having spent three weeks out with a calf problem. Madrid will be aiming to make it 10 LaLiga away games without defeat for the first time in three years against a Valencia side who, with eight points from as many games, are experiencing their worst start to a season since having seven points at the same stage in the 1999-2000 campaign.
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