Real Madrid will play to save their season in Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Wolfsburg, according to head coach Zinedine Zidane.
The 2014 winners were surprisingly beaten 2-0 in the quarter-final first leg this week and must win by three goals in the return game at the Santiago Bernabeu if they are to ensure a place in the last four without the need for a penalty shoot-out.
With Madrid facing the prospect of a trophyless campaign and Zidane’s future still shrouded in doubt, concerns have been raised that supporters will voice their frustration throughout Saturday’s Liga meeting with Eibar.
Zidane, however, says he has no concerns at present over his long-term position at the club and is confident the fans will back them both on Saturday and for Wolfsburg’s visit.
He told a media conference: “I’m sure they’ll be with us. On Tuesday, we play for our season. I like it when things get tough. Nobody expected this from the first leg, but it’s done now.
“What excites me is what I’m doing. I’m always positive. If we’re eliminated, it’s part of football. I assume my responsibility over the project and we’ll see at the end of the season.”
Zidane rejected the suggestion that his players allowed their effort levels to drop following their dramatic 2-1 win in the Clasico against league leaders Barcelona last weekend.
“There was no lack of intensity. We started the game very well, the only thing was that we conceded two goals in a few minutes. This was our fault,” he said.
“The game is over and now we concentrate on the match tomorrow. We know that we failed but there’s nothing else to be said.
“I wouldn’t change anything from before the game. After the game, yes.
“I don’t recommend placing a bet because I don’t like to. It’s always said that Madrid are the favourites, but I always said before and after the first game that it’s 50-50.”
Zidane confirmed that he will rotate some of his players for the Eibar clash but said he has no plans to rest Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Ronaldo will play tomorrow. There will be rotation, for sure, but in order to win the game tomorrow. The game on Tuesday is different,” he added.