Monday 17 June 2019

'If I had a fourth substitute, I would not have brought him on' - Zidane cuts down Gareth Bale ahead of likely exit

Gareth Bale (Nick Potts/PA)
Gareth Bale (Nick Potts/PA)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Zinedine Zidane has accepted his share of the blame for Real Madrid's disastrous season.

Speaking after watching his side slip to a 2-0 home defeat by Real Betis in their final LaLiga fixture, Zidane, who returned to the Bernabeu to replace Santiago Solari in March, pulled no punches in his assessment of the campaign.

He told a press conference: "What happened this year has to be accepted. I'm to blame - we've had 11 games and won just 5. That is what it is.

"When a season starts off badly and then you are not playing for a trophy, I think it is hard to play well if there is nothing to play for. Motivation is a strange thing, it is part of our reality.

"During the week, it always seems like we are going to have a good match but in the end, it just doesn't happen due to many circumstances.

"Now we have to focus on next season because we want to please the fans and I can tell them right now that we are going to prepare well in pre-season. We are going to have plenty of time to focus on our work and set up a great season. We're going to compete from the off.

Zidane has indicated he will overhaul the squad he inherited over the summer, with some big names likely to be casualties.

Wales international Gareth Bale has found himself at the centre of speculation in recent weeks, and his displeasure was clear as headed straight down the tunnel after he was left sitting on the bench.

"I don't know what will happen. I've called upon other players lately. I'm making decisions about who plays and who is on the bench, but next year anything can happen.

"Today he didn't play because others have come in. I'm sorry that he didn't get minutes today, but next year who knows what will happen?

"I have to take decisions and when I don't like things or something doesn't seem right, I have to change them.

"Nobody is going to change what the player has done at this club, but day-to-day, it is like that. We live in the present, although we will not forget the past."

"I have counted on other players in more in recent weeks, and if I had a fourth substitute today I would not have brought him on."

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