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Zidane gives Madrid players a wake-up call

SPORTYOU SPORTYOU 07/03/2016 sportyou
Toque de atención de Zidane al equipo © Getty Images Toque de atención de Zidane al equipo

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane appeared before the media ahead of his team's Champions League Round of 16 return match against Roma on Tuesday. The Blancos have a two-goal advantage from the first leg but the manager is still wary and asked his players for total focus because he has himself seen in the past how other teams have gone into games with a similar lead and ended up being knocked out.

The starting XI to face Roma. "We could change things around or do the same thing. The idea is to put out an attacking team and you will see the starting XI I choose. Borja has played three games at an incredibly intensive level. He is an academy player but he is also an important member of the group. We have to ease him in, little by little. We'll see what happens tomorrow. Choosing a line-up is difficult but I prefer to have everyone available."

Pressure to win the Champions League. "We're handling this well. The only thing we have to do tomorrow is win the Roma match. That's the only thing we need to be thinking about. Many people think we have an easy game, but it's not like that. Our obligation is to beat Roma tomorrow and then turn our attention to the weekend match and the league competition. I'm not thinking about whether it's going to be a good or bad season, I'm thinking from one day to the next. That gives me strength."

James Rodríguez. "It's not a problem of his. He's a committed player and one who trains well. I have to make changes, but in the end what counts is that he gives it his all out on the pitch. Of course we all want more from him, because of how talented he is. He is improving and he is showing it."

Selling Cristiano Ronaldo. "I don't want that. I'm the coach and I want Cristiano here in my team. I got booed too. It's not about any one player, it's about a crowd who want more out of his play. The crowd, in the end, love their players, and that's the important thing. The stadium is always full, and that is important. The fans are always behind us. It's logical that during a game some of them should say the things they say, if they're not happy with what they are seeing."

Tomorrow's opponents. "They are a good team, and that is worrying. But I'm more concerned about my own team, and we know we are going to have a difficult game. They have really good forwards. I don't care about any doubts we may raise. A game is never won until it is over. I've been a player and I know we have to play well to win. If you don't play well, you run the risk of getting knocked out. That is one thing that is really clear."

Marcelo, left out of the Brazil call-up. "Marcelo is ready to play, that's the only thing I can say. Whether his national team coach calls him up or not, that is entirely up to him."

Bale. "He is ready. He is match-fit again and that is what matters. That thing about the holes in his socks is his own affair."

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