Real Madrid news

Ancelotti accepts criticism from fans

October 3, 2013
By Dermot Corrigan & Ian Holyman

Carlo Ancelotti says he has no problem being whistled by fans at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu as he agrees with them that Real Madrid must play much better.

Train: Madrid fly past Copenhagen on wings of Di Maria

Ancelotti first experienced a 'pitada' during Madrid’s 1-0 derbi defeat to Atletico Madrid, and then again both before and at half-time of the ultimately comfortable 4-0 Champions League over FC Copenhagen.

The Blancos coach told reporters in the Bernabeu press room after Wednesday’s game that he understood the supporters’ frustration.

"I was not happy at half-time either because we began playing slowly,” Ancelotti said. “The rhythm must be much quicker and we had to play more simply because we have the quality to play that way."

Such criticism should act as a motivation both for him and his players, the Italian coach said.

"Being whistled is not bad,” Ancelotti said. “I have received a lot of criticism in my career. I do not remember any criticism which was bad. I consider these things to be necessary sometimes, they serve to make you work better."

Madrid lined up against the Danes in a 4-3-3 system with Asier Illarramendi, Sami Khedira and Luka Modric in the centre and Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo as ‘inside-out’ wingers, not the 4-4-2 which Ancelotti had previously insisted the team would play this season.

The new shape, which Di Maria suggested post-game had been suggested by the players at Monday's clear-the air meeting at training, had been a success, Ancelotti said.

"We changed because the opposing team were very compact,” he said. “Cristiano and Di Maria played more open to have more chances to cross. The first two goals came from good combination moves and we used the flanks well. Illarra, Khedira and Modric did a good job."

The tactical changes allowed Marcelo to raid forward well from left-back, on his return to the team after a month out through injury.

"He is a very important player, he has different characteristics to Coentrao, who is also a very good full-back, but it is true that Marcelo in incredible on the attack,” Ancelotti said. “When you play in this system, the work of the full-backs is important."

Tactical flexibility was important for a side looking to compete at the top level, Ancelotti maintained. “A team must be able to change system without problems,” he said. “The players have the quality to play in any system.”

Meanwhile, striker Karim Benzema has said he is "digging in" in a bid to get himself out of a slump in form.

Benzema, 25, has found himself the target of the Santiago Bernabeu crowd in recent games with the France international perceived as not working hard enough for the team.

Add to that his international goalscoring drought, which stretches back to early June 2012, and the former Lyon striker is enduring the most turbulent period of his career.

However, after playing a part in two of Madrid's goals against Copenhagen, Benzema told beIN Sport he was determined to work his way out of the slump.

"It's part of a footballer's career. You have to ask questions of yourself on the pitch and that's what I'm doing. I have to continue," said the forward, who has four goals and three assists in eight competitive outings for his club this season. "I'm working hard and I think it's going to come. I had a good game, and even if I didn't score, I played a part in the goals. You know that it's difficult here, but I'm digging in."

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