Ancelotti out to get Real back on track
Carlo Ancelotti says Wednesday night’s Champions League Group B home clash with FC Copenhagen gives Real Madrid a chance to get back on track, as the fallout from the weekend’s painful derby defeat continues in the Spanish capital.
Atletico Madrid’s 1-0 win over their city rivals at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu highlighted the problems Ancelotti is having in moulding together a new Madrid side and saw Los Blancos slip five points behind Barcelona and Atletico in the La Liga title race.
However, while Madrid have been stumbling domestically, they opened their European campaign with a 6-1 win at Galatasaray two weeks ago. The Italian coach said he hoped the competition would again give his side a chance to boost their confidence.
"I am less happy today because the game against Atletico was not good, we lost a derby, that is not a good thing for us," Ancelotti said. "We need to react quickly, with a result or with our play. I have a lot of confidence in the players, am sure we will react well.
"Tomorrow’s game is important -- we began well in the Champions League, and tomorrow’s game has another meaning, not just to continue well in the competition, but also to change the attitude and the spirit of this moment."
Ancelotti said he it was ‘normal’ that Madrid supporters were upset at losing a first La Liga derby in 14 years. "That is my responsibility," he said. "I am going to deal with it. It is normal that the fans are angry, because they cannot be happy with the team’s play.
"Real Madrid’s fans come to the Santiago Bernabeu to see a good game from their team, and the recent games were not good, so it is normal. Having angry fans can be a motivation for us, and for me above all."
Monday’s training-ground meeting between players and staff was not -- as had been reported -- called by captains Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos, said the former Chelsea and Milan manager, but it was still a positive thing.
"The meeting was not demanded by the players," he said. "[But] in this moment it is very important to talk with all the players. We are all together -- when the results are good or less good. The views of the players are very important for me, so I can understand better and find a quick solution for this moment."
Ancelotti was less happy with a question about him dining at a Madrid restaurant on Monday night with club president Florentino Perez and marketing director Jose Angel Sanchez. "It is of no interest to anyone who I eat with," he said. "That is a private matter, That is the way it is. It is nobody’s business."
But he later said he had no problems with Perez -- or the squad with which he now has to work with. “Florentino Perez is the most important person here at Real Madrid,” Ancelotti said. “He did a lot to bring me here. We sign players when we are all in agreement and I am very happy with the transfers. Very important players with a lot of quality arrived.”
Ancelotti said players needed time to get used to playing his 4-4-2 possession game after 4-2-3-1 counterattacking last season under Mourinho, but would soon be playing very well.
“You need more time so that the players use the system in the most natural way possibly,” he said. “But I am sure the team is going to play well, very soon. "I have a very good squad, it is not playing well at the moment, but I have a lot of confidence in them -- it is the strongest squad I have had in my career. It is my problem to get them playing better, and I will do that.”