Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Real Madrid`s Ancelotti hoping for reaction from players

Real Madrid`s Ancelotti hoping for reaction from players

Real Madrid`s Ancelotti hoping for reaction from players
Madrid: Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti believes it is too early to judge his side despite them already falling five points behind Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in La Liga.

A 1-0 defeat to Atletico on Saturday was Ancelotti`s first in charge of Los Blancos, but came on the back of another hugely unconvincing performance in the controversial 2-1 win over Elche last midweek.

And the Italian said he expects a reaction from his players when they return to Champions League duty against FC Copenhagen at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

"I`m less happy after the game against Atletico because it wasn`t good, losing a derby is never a good thing," he told a press conference on Tuesday.

"We need to react quickly, both in terms of our performance and results. I have confidence in the players that they will respond well. It is a question of spirit and attitude."

Defender Sergio Ramos also backed Ancelotti to turn things around and insisted that Real will compete for all of La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey this season.

"Now is the time when we need to be most united," he said.

"It is true that we are playing badly and that people are not feeling comfortable, but we will get there because it is our obligation and we have a great team. Let nobody be in doubt, we will be fighting for the three titles.

"The team is more united than ever, with a great atmosphere, a coach with whom we are more than happy and the results will come."

Madrid`s struggles to adapt to Ancelotti`s possession based game after three years where they were more dangerous on the counter-attack under Jose Mourinho were particularly exposed by Atletico.

However, Ancelotti believes it will just take some time for his new troops to adjust to a new style of play.

"We can do more. We are not comfortable in possession at the minute and we have lost some of our defensive balance. Right now we are not winning the ball back well enough, but it is still very early."

However, in Europe, things have started extremely well for Madrid with their 6-1 hammering of Galatasaray allied to Juventus` 1-1 draw with Copenhagen handing the Spanish giants an early advantage in Group B.

And Ancelotti says the point Copenhagen took from his countrymen should serve as a warning to his side not to take the Danish champions lightly despite their own domestic struggles.

"They have had the same system and coach for a while. We know they haven`t had a great start in the league, but they drew against Juventus so we have to be alert."

Iker Casillas is set to make his first competitive appearance at the Bernabeu for nine months as Ancelotti intends to play the Spanish captain in the Champions League and Copa del Rey whilst Diego Lopez maintains the number one jersey in La Liga.

Gareth Bale is also expected to start for the first time at home after coming on as a second-half substitute against Atletico and Ancelotti may also recall Marcelo and Raphael Varane to the defence as they have both returned to full fitness.

AFP ------------------

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