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  Zidane seeks patience in Real recovery mission

Zidane seeks patience in Real recovery mission

AFP
Published : Apr 11, 2016, 11:38 pm IST
Updated : Apr 11, 2016, 11:38 pm IST

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insisted he remains positive his side will overcome a 2-0 first-leg deficit to reach the Champions League semi-finals against Wolfsburg on Tuesday.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insisted he remains positive his side will overcome a 2-0 first-leg deficit to reach the Champions League semi-finals against Wolfsburg on Tuesday.

Madrid need to end a run of bowing out in the Champions League the last eight times they have lost the first leg, but Zidane also stressed the need for patience as an away goal for the Germans would leave Real needing four to go through.

“I am always positive and I achieved something as a player with this philosophy,” said Zidane.

“What most concerns me is to see the faces of my players and they are very focused on the game, so that eases the pressure.

“We need to score, but we have 90 minutes or more to do so.”

Madrid’s fortunes have turned around dramatically in La Liga in recent weeks as they came from behind to end Barcelona’s 39-game unbeaten run earlier this month before closing to within four points of the leaders with six games to go after Barca lost again at Real Sociedad on Saturday.

And Zidane is hopeful the momentum of their league form will carry into a famous night at the Santiago Bernabeu, where Madrid have scored 37 goals in nine games since he took charge in January.

“The message is patience because we know anything can happen in football,” he added.

“It will be much more difficult if they score a goal. We need to be concentrated from the first minute.”

Madrid will be at full strength as Karim Benzema has recovered from a knee knock that forced him off in the first leg.

Wolfsburg weren’t so successful at the weekend as a 1-1 draw at home to Mainz all but ended their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League through the Bundesliga.

Man City face PSG Meanwhile, Manchester City have a first semi-final in their sights after a 2-2 draw at Paris Saint-Germain last midweek.

The clubs, revolutionised in recent years by super-rich Middle Eastern owners, both dream of winning this competition but basic errors marred their encounter at the Parc des Princes.

While City have Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure back playing again, PSG are without the suspended David Luiz and Blaise Matuidi and reports in France suggest coach Laurent Blanc is desperately hoping Marco Verratti might make a miracle recovery in time to play. “His injury is taking a long time to cure,” admitted Blanc on Saturday of Verratti, who has been out for seven weeks with a groin problem. “I am more optimistic than yesterday and less than I will be tomorrow.”

Location: Spain, Madrid