What did Carlo Ancelotti say before Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey match with Villarreal?
Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press ahead of Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey last 16 clash away to Villarreal on Thursday.
Following the disappointment of Sunday’s Spanish Super Cup final defeat to Barcelona, which some are calling the end of an era for Real Madrid and the start of one for the Catalans, Carlo Ancelotti takes Los Blancos to Villarreal in the Copa del Rey on Thursday looking to turn round a poor run of form that has seen them concede six goals in three matches, none of which they have won (penalty shootouts aside), and fall three points behind Barça at the top of LaLiga.
The Italian spoke to the press ahead of the trip to Estadio de la Cerámica and was confident the cup-tie would give Madrid a great chance to get out of their recent slump.
Villarreal cup-tie “an opportunity for Real Madrid to get out of a tough period”
The challenge against Villarreal.
“It’s an opportunity for us. We’re in a tough period. It’ll be a difficult match but we’re looking at it as a chance to get out of it.”
Has a ‘new era’ begun for Barcelona?
“I’m not going to get into that. They’re one of our main rivals and they always will be.”
Thibaut Courtois and Karim Benzema.
“Both of them will play tomorrow.”
“Everyone has written Real Madrid off”
Real Madrid’s current form
“It’s hard to be in top physical condition. Injuries have affected us. Tchouaméni, Alaba, Lucas (Vázquez)... we didn’t see them coming. It’s normal not to be at full strength just now. January is a complicated month and We have to get through these matches. Everyone has written us off before tomorrow’s game but we think we’ll be able to turn things around. It’s a long season. We have to get through this period in which we’ll play against teams who are in good form. We’ll never give up. We’ll get out of it. I don’t know when but we hope it’ll be tomorrow. We’ll come out of it and it’ll happen soon. We’ll fight until the very end.”
Barcelona are talking about it being the end of an era for Real Madrid
“I’m only talking about what’s going on at Real Madrid. We’ve got a young team: Camavinga, Vinícius, Rodrygo, Valverde, Militão, Tchouaméni…others who’ll come along in the future. It’s the beginning of a cycle for this club. Players who have had an incredible run are coming towards the end of their careers. But this isn’t the end, I think it’s just beginning. We’re in a period of transition after a fantastic few years. The day Karim and Luka stop playing, there are others who will take over. It’s not the end, it’s the beginning.”
Criticism of Kroos and Modric
They’re in different situations. Toni is playing really well, he’s in great shape. He didn’t go to the World Cup and he’s contributing a lot to the team. Luka is different, he’s not in top physical condition.
“What are you looking for from Camavinga?”
“He was doing well against Valencia but I took him off because I was worried about us going down to 10 men. He could’ve done better defensively against Barça but I wanted more attacking players on the pitch. It’s true that I’ve taken him off at half-time a lot.”
Real Madrid have “been far too slack recently”
Defensive issues (injuries and otherwise)
“Nacho is a player we can really rely on. The truth is that we’ve been far too slack recently, we’ve conceded six goals in three games. Apart from the penalty given away by Alaba, we conceded five avoidable goals.”
Any lessons learned from 2015 (when Real Madrid also had a poor run under Ancelotti in January)?
“That’s just a coincidence. We also had a drop in form last January. We turned it around quickly then and we’ll do it again this season.”
Kroos in the holding role
“We’re thinking about it. Kroos can help us play the ball out from defence and in other matches he can help us by being a more defensive-minded holding player. Camavinga can play there too.”
“Why is it hard so blood young players at Real Madrid?”
“It’s hard to say. We’re really proud of the youth academy. There are young players who are developing really well. There are always spells when young players get a chance. I think the group of players we have that were born in 2004 are really good and soon they’ll be able to help us in the first team.
“Defending well is the easiest thing to do in soccer”
“What is a manager’s role when it’s not going well?”
A manager’s role isn’t that hard when you’re in a tough spell. You have to be able to assess things well, be as objective as possible and do things as simply as possible. Defending well is the easiest thing to do in soccer.”
“Will Vinicius Tobias play tomorrow?”
“Vinicius Tobias is part of the squad for tomorrow’s game, he could be involved. Carvajal and Vázquez are out and Odriozola is on the way back from an injury.”
“How do you get back to your best?”
“We need to regain some confidence. We did really well up until November then we had the World Cup for 20 days. We’ve got a roster full of fantastic players.”