“We send Casillas all of our strength”, declared the coach.Zinedine Zidane took to the media room at Real Madrid City following his side’s final training session ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabéu (4:15pm CET). Before fielding any questions, the coach had some words of support for Iker Casillas: “The first thing I want to do is to send my support to Iker on the club’s behalf. I sent him a message yesterday and he’s in good spirits and is doing better. We send him all of our strength”.
“Just like many of us, I sent him all of my encouragement. He’s sent us a message and is doing better. He has to be relaxed, recover properly and focus on resting. He looks to be in good spirits”.
“We want to continue our winning run at the Bernabéu. We’ve got the chance to do just that and to show everyone that we’re keen to end the season strongly and put in good performances. We enjoy playing at the Bernabéu and we’re going to try and make sure that the fans are proud of all of the players. We’ve had our struggles, the season has been a tough one and they’re aware of the fact. But we want to, at the very least, put in a good performance tomorrow”.
“There are many teams that we’ve faced that have a lot to play for. Villarreal are fighting for survival and will come here and be ready and raring to deliver a big performance and come away with something. We’ll have to be ready. All of the teams want to do well against Real Madrid and all the more so when they’ve got something to play for. They’re a good side and one that plays good football and has quality. We’ll have to produce a good performance if we’re to take all three points”.
End of LaLiga campaign
“I hope to win all three of our remaining games. That’s also what the players want to do and we’re keen to finish the season strongly. There are teams who have a lot at stake and it’ll tough, but you’ve got to do well in training and be confident. At times, when things go badly, you don’t make a good start to a game and there are a series of mistakes, like in our last match. I’m focused on winning these three games and tomorrow is an opportunity for us to turn things around”.
Keen for the season to end?
“There are three games to go and we’ve got to go out and play them. I’m fine, the other day I was very cross, as were the players. Don’t go thinking that they were fine with things. There are times when nothing goes for you, which was the case the other day. The good thing, amongst the bad things we’ve been through this season, is that we’ve got a game tomorrow to show what we’re all about. Nobody will take away our desire to play football away, it’s what the players like doing and we try and do that tomorrow”.
WE WANT TO FINISH THE SEASON STRONGLY AND WIN OUR THREE REMAINING GAMES.
“We’re not going to go telling people that they have to change their opinions, this is just the way the season has gone. However, they need to think about next season because there are going to be some changes around here, but many of the players will stay put. We’ll have the same supporters and we’re going to have to do this together. I would ask for the fans to get behind us because we’re going to try and produce a performance, just as we did in our last home game, against Athletic”.
“I’m the coach and have to take decisions and pick the team. He has to train and focus on playing. I can’t speak for Gareth or any other player. What I can tell you is that they’re players who know where they are and about the duty that we all have. I have to pick the team and we’ll have to see what we do tomorrow. I expect to see the best from all of the players, for them to give the best they’ve got. That’s what we train all week for and to pick up points at the weekend. I don’t see him playing as left wing-back”.
“I said that he’s a good player, but you could ask me about another player and I’d tell you the same thing. I said that he’s a good player and also that I know him. I’m not going to say any more because if things work out well, you’re excused, but if you say something daft… Pogba is a Manchester United player, he’s a very good one but he plays for Manchester United. We’ll see at the end of the season who goes and who stays. I didn’t say anything about us signing Pogba. I’m not going to say anything until things are done”.
“He hasn’t surprised me a bit. He’s training, he’s doing a lot better and he’s ready to be included in the squad list. He needed these few weeks to recover and this was the expected timeline. He’s 18 years old, he could be my son. He’s very good and is really important for this team, particularly in terms of the future. His age isn’t a factor because usually you have to wait. He’s good, he deserves to be here and that’s all there is to it. After his injury we’ve got to take things slowly”.
“At Getafe we didn’t mess up, we played well but the goals were lacking. I was pleased with the team’s performance, just as I was against Athletic. The other day at Vallecas, not matter how optimistic I try to be to be, I didn’t like our display. We’re now a few days on and we have another game. We wear the Madrid shirt and badge and we’ve all got a duty. We’ve got to be optimistic and see tomorrow’s game as a good one to be involved in and let’s hope that we see it that way. If you go out without thinking about the result and just get out there and focus on enjoying yourself and showing that you’re a good player, you’ve got a very good chance of winning the game”.
“I don’t know whether it’ll be possible to have all of them available because things move slowly and we’ll see what happens. We’ll have time, there’s no World Cup or European Championship. Many of them have two games with their national teams at the end of the LaLiga season and some of them have the Copa América, but we’re going to have time to prepare for the season. Up until 31 August anything can happen”.