Ancelotti: “Our approach to this Clásico is to have a complete performance, not to score goals”

Date of publication: 4/4/2023

The coach previewed the second leg, with Real Madrid travelling to Barcelona 1-0 down.

Real Madrid CF v Real Valladolid CF - LaLiga SantanderAhead of the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Barcelona, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti spoke with the media in the pre-match press conference. He started off by analysing the tie, which Barça have a 1-0 advantage in, in a general sense, stating: “We’re feeling good and motivated and confident after the good performance against Real Valladolid. We believe we’ll have a good game tomorrow. They obviously have a goal advantage. We can’t go crazy in search of the goal. You could score in the fifth minute, but then concede two. Or you could score in the 90th minute. Our approach is to have a complete performance, not to score goals. If you have a complete performance, the goals will come. This is an important competition and we’ll give our all to make it to the final.”

Ancelotti on whether he’ll change his system

Asked if he’d considering changing his system to surprise Barcelona, after three Clásico defeats in a row, Ancelotti ruled that out. He explained: “No. You can surprise the opponent by changing an entire system, but you can surprise yourself too and that might be more dangerous. It’s more about tweaking small details. Barça have won the past three Clásicos and I think it’s our turn. I still think we played well in the last two Clásicos. We were very close to winning the last one at the Camp Nou. We may make changes to the line-up, or we might not. But, we want to play the same way. Modrić and Kroos are still undroppable, although that doesn’t mean they’re going to start tomorrow. Modrić was also undroppable a few days ago against Valladolid, but spent the whole game on the bench. Having energy will be important, but there are other important aspects too. These are matches with a lot of pressure, so the experience of the veterans might be useful. We have to think about all the players and who’ll come off the bench too. Like I often said last season, it’s not only the starters who’ll be important.”

Ancelotti on leaving players out

The coach spoke about how difficult it is to leave players out, stating: “Obviously there are more than 11 who deserve to play. Players always want to start, but they understand the situation and rarely ask for explanations if they’re left out. I don’t speak to each player who is left out. I’d get tired if I had to speak to all of those who I leave out. But, the players always know that my door is open.”

Ancelotti on picking his centre-backs

Although the coach wouldn’t give much away about his line-up selection, he was asked how Antonio Rüdiger is doing and how he’ll decide which centre-backs to start with. The coach said: “Rüdiger is doing well and is ready to play. Each of our centre-backs has different characteristics. We’ll need to play well out from the back, but that also depends on our overall movement and other things. The goalkeeper is actually the one who matters the most for playing out from the back.”

Ancelotti on how much the full-backs should attack

One question focused on the full-back position and on whether Real Madrid’s full-backs attack enough. The coach replied: “We don’t ask our left-back to get forward too much because we have Vinícius there. We ask the left-back to focus more on controlling the space behind Vinícius. With the right-back, it depends on if we have Rodrygo or Valverde there. If Rodrygo is there then the attacking third is well-covered. But, if it’s Valverde then he moves inside more and then we need our right-back to get forward more.”

Ancelotti on the out-of-contract players

Discussing the members of the squad whose contracts are expiring, the Italian insisted that they aren’t causing any problems. He said: “You might think that finishing contract might affect players, but that’s not the case here with these players. Look at Asensio, for example, who is still working out his future, and look how well he played against Real Valladolid.”

Ancelotti on refereeing controversy

RMTV aren’t happy about the refereeing appointments for this game and Ancelotti was asked about this, in the context of the Negreira controversy. He replied: “Like I’ve said many times, this is a matter that is being investigated. I think we should leave the refereeing to one side. We’re just focused on preparing as well as we can and trying to win the game.”

Ancelotti on his future

The coach refused to answer any more questions about his future, something he made clear over the weekend. When asked about this, he simply responded: “As I said in the last press conference, I’m not going to speak more about my future.”

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