Speaking after his side’s 4-3 defeat to Schalke 04, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said recent criticism of himself and his players is justified.
Real Madrid have been dealing with adversity since the start of the New Year. Lackluster performances, misfiring attackers, unrest in the dressing room and injures to key personnel have lead to Madrid seeing their four-point lead in La Liga evaporate in a few months time.
This past weekend, following Madrid’s 1-0 defeat to Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona took sole possession of the top spot in Spain after their 6-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano.
Madrid have been consistently booed at home in recent weeks, and last night the players were jeered off the pitch by the Bernabeu supporters at halftime and after the final whistle.
When asked if his team hit rock bottom with their performance against Schalke, Ancelotti responded: “I’m very sorry; as everyone saw, we played very badly and that is bad for the image of this club. All the criticism we get and the whistling we receive is justified – that will only serve to motivate us even more.
“I still have complete faith in this team because I know what it is capable of giving. We need to continue working and concentrate on the job in hand. All of us need to do a lot more.”
Prior to the match, Ancelotti believed his team’s problems lied in its attack and not in defense. Despite those words, Ancelotti made a handful of changes to his midfield and back four against Schalke. Those replacements apparently didn’t work out.
“We need to look at our defense, that’s where all our errors were,” Ancelotti added. “No team has put four goals past us at home – apart from Barcelona (last season) but two of them were penalties. We lacked organization.”
The manager went on to agree with reporters when asked if his players are suffering from a lack of confidence.
“That’s true, we do lack confidence,” Ancelotti concluded. “We’ve also lost a little of the physical element to our game. We’ve got problems in a lot of areas – in attack, in defense, in impulse, desire and concentration.”
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