Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane named French coach of the year

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane named French coach of the year

Kiko Casilla had to save from Nacho Sanchez and Pere Milla bundled wide as Numancia battled for a second equaliser, before Zidane introduced senior stars Isco and Casemiro in a bid to see the game out.

Los Rojillos have lost their six meetings with Los Blancos but did beat them 3-1 all the way back in 2000, albeit on home soil.

"Zidane has preferred to not anticipate risks and has bypassed any uncomfortable diagnosis, no matter how obvious", it said.

Proving his ability to come through testing times: "I want to show that I can also be a good coach when the going gets tough". The chat was a bit longer than others, but this happens when we think it necessary, to get something out of it.

"If there is a single team that can turn this around, it's Real Madrid". When there are things like we're going through, where things aren't going as we want, it's about work. We have to try to keep a clean sheet, score and have a good game.

"But I am happy with the performance of them all, I'm happy these players got more minutes, and the first leg [3-0 victory] was important".

Zidane's son has been out of action since undergoing a shoulder surgery in November while Benzema is yet to play a game this year after suffering a thigh injury during the humiliating El Clasico defeat to Barcelona on 23 December.

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"The contract is signed, for two more years", he said.

Zidane's unwillingness to shake things up can be traced to Real's limited activities in the last transfer window.

Anything but three points against Villarreal, who have taken seven off them in their last four games, would pile more pressure on Zidane despite his eight trophies in two years as Real coach. People might think I am not the right person, maybe so, but I believe in what I do.

Madrid, who have been drawn against Paris St. Germain in the Champions League last-16, are fourth in the league and enduring a disappointing domestic campaign.

"I have to start motivating my players again to find how to sort this out".

Holders Barcelona host Celta on Thursday after drawing 1-1 in the first leg at Balaidos last week.

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