No problem with Real Madrid motivation for Levante - Zidane

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Gremio Club World Cup

Although they have played a game less than their rivals, the gap seems impossible to close, because not only would Madrid have to win virtually every game between now and the end of the season, but Barca would have to start dropping points on a regular basis.

Zinedine Zidane has claimed that he decided against bolstering his Real Madrid squad during the recent January transfer window because he still has "blind faith" in his current options. We did not get the victory today but we have a match next week. "I planned it because I wanted to pus a player in the middle and put a little more strength in the centre of the field. They had four chances and scored two goals".

Dani Ceballos and Jesus Vallejo are both injured and unavailable for the match and Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos were in doubts for Real Madrid.

They have been particularly poor at home, gaining just two points from their last seven outings at the Estadio Ciudad de Valencia, so they really are the kind of opposition that Zidane's team should be comfortably outclassing. "You have to analyse the dynamics of the team, as well as the player's form, and then try not to disrupt their rhythm".

Zidane's decision to reunited Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, and Karim Benzema at the top of the formation has reinvigorated Madrid's attack. You [media] are there to talk about that, I am here to pick my team.

Zidane stressed that he did not want his players to think about any of their difficulties during the season, adding: "We must think positively".

Although there appeared to be plenty of good humour on a chilly morning in the Spanish capital, their next game, away to 16th-placed Levante, will take on far more importance than usual.

"We all know that the starting XI is important, but we also need a strong set of substitutes".

Asked if he thought his job was on the line in the looming Champions League last-16 clash with Paris Saint-Germain, the former galactico answered shortly: "I just think about the next game, nothing else". "It is a bit hard to take, after the positives last week when we improved at Valencia".

A 7-1 defeat of Deportivo was followed by a 4-1 win at Valencia last weekend, when Cristiano Ronaldo scored two penalties as Real moved to within two points of third-placed Valencia with a game in hand.

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