MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said his side still have to make many improvements after riding their luck to beat Real Valladolid 1-0 at home on Wednesday, although he is not worried about their rusty play so early into the new season.
Madrid had to rely on several top saves from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and struggled to make things happen in attack until Zidane made a triple change in the second half, bringing on Marco Asensio, Vinicius Jr. and Dani Carvajal.
Vinicius struck the winner soon after coming on, to the relief of Zidane.
“The win tastes good because this was not a simple night for us,” Zidane told a news conference.
“We knew we would suffer and have a difficult game but at least we’ve got the points. We weren’t brilliant but we’ve only just started the season, so we need to stay calm and be patient because we know little by little we’re going to improve.”
The French coach, who cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines at times, was particularly critical of his side’s performance before the break and put their rusty form down to a short pre-season in which they were only able to play one friendly game.
“I always get annoyed about something during a match, today it was when we kept losing the ball in our own half which is something we need to be very careful about,” he added.
“But I’m choosing to focus on the positives, we’ve just started, this is not a normal season, we’ve had no friendly games to try things out and we’ll take everything step by step, knowing that we’re going to improve.”
Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis
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