Zidane: Time needed to change Real Madrid methods

Andy West 06:06 11/01/2016
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Winning start: Zidane.

Zinedine Zidane says it will take time for him to properly implement his methods on the Madrid squad but the French coach was delighted with how quickly his team adapted to a new way of playing.

Los Blancos marked the start of the Zidane era with a thumping 5-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruna at the Bernabeu on Saturday, with Gareth Bale registering an excellent hat-trick.

The emphatic result sent Madrid fans home happy, and so too did the onset of a modified style of play which saw more of the team’s attacks being built through midfield rather than with long balls and counter-attacks.

And Zidane, who has already publicly stated that he would like to see the team adopt a more possession-orientated strategy, admitted that he had instructed his players to change their playing methods.

“It was necessary to try and move out with the ball from defence and quickly switch play from one side of the pitch to the other,” Zidane said. “We did that and we are going to improve it. That was how we planned it. We can improve in terms of ball recovery, but gradually – I have only just taken over and things need time.”

Madrid’s expulsion from the Copa del Rey carries the silver lining of giving Zidane more time to work with his players on the training ground over the coming weeks.

While Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will be playing nine games over the course of a busy January including a pair of two-legged cup ties, the fact that Madrid are absent from the competition means they will only be playing five games in the month, with no midweek action either.

Zidane said: “The players want to do as well as possible and we now need to continue our work. We have to improve a lot of things and we will. Now we have weeks to work and we are going to improve, I am convinced of that.

“The first game was really good but it is only the start and we have to keep going.”

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