Ancelotti: Our play could have been better, but we were solid
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti was pleased with the comfortable victory against Elche and the performances of his players, but still furious over the decision by the Competition Committee to uphold Cristiano Ronaldo’s suspension, along with the late notification.
“I’m satisfied because we didn’t concede anything at the back. Our play could have been better, but at this time in the season we should be more solid and we have been.”
Though Modric wasn’t available for the game, the Italian coach was pleased with the work of Illarramendi in his place.
“Modric gives us more options in tighter games, for his ability one on one, but Illarramendi has had a very good game. I’m very happy with him.”
As for Bale, Ancelotti spoke of two levels of performance, before and after his superb goal.
“He wasn’t showing confidence before he scored that fantastic goal. Then his game was completely different. We can’t expect everything to always turn out so well, because we had very organised opponents. Bale played sufficiently well before the goal and was fantastic afterwards.”
Ancelotti also pointed out that when Morata came on, he suffered a little from tunnel vision, looking to score on two occasions himself, rather than set up team-mates in better positions.
“He was great, but thinking a little too much about scoring himself. All he needs to do is play well and he’s done that. It’s not always necessary for him to score.”
Isco came off the bench to score and amidst ongoing concerns that the young midfielder isn’t getting enough minutes, Ancelotti remains confident that he can operate in a deeper central midfield role, if need be.
“He could play as a false nine or as a central midfielder. That’s the position he’s played this week and he can play there, in an area where more sacrifice is needed and do well.”
Varane also impressed, stepping back into the team, even though he played in the left side of the central defensive pairing, rather than the right, noted the Real Madrid manager.
“It’s not a problem for him to play on the left side of central defence, although he maybe more comfortable on the right. He’s just come back and he didn’t make any mistakes. He did very well.”
With Schalke next in the Champions League, followed by the Madrid derby against Atlético, the next question was to ask Ancelotti about his teams for those games.
“We’ll see how Marcelo and Coentrao are, then we’ll choose the best possible eleven. Those who don’t play on Wednesday, will play the following Sunday.”
Finally, Ancelotti made clear his anger and frustration of what he suggested was incompetence by the Competition Committee, in how they had dealt with the appeal against the three match suspension of Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Nobody is happy about this situation. I don’t think the suspension is at all normal, not that he’s had to miss a game, nor that we’ve had to wait until two in the afternoon for them to decide he couldn’t play against Elche. We’ve won three games without him, but what’s happened in the meantime is incredible. I don’t understand it and I can’t forget about it either. I don’t think they have hurt the image of Cristiano, but clearly someone somewhere has failed with this.”