Real Madrid Coach Zinedine Zidane Believes Job Is On The Line

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The Sun (UK)

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is contemplating the fallout from the team being shockingly eliminated from the Copa del Rey by Leganes on Wednesday night and acknowledged changes could be in store.

Zidane went on to say that his job was on the line in the upcoming Champions League last 16 tie with Paris Saint Germain.

Zidane took the blame for Real Madrid falling well short of expectations.

“After the first leg, we cannot play the first half we did here,” Zidane said (h/t ESPN FC).

“In the end the result is logical, as the opponent played their game, and we did not. I am responsible for this, it is a failure for me today. I am very disappointed, and will take responsibility of all this.”

“I am angry with myself, not with my players,” he said. “My players tried, ran, maybe they played badly, they have part of the blame, but I am the most responsible. You cannot explain our first half tonight.

“That each player might not be at their usual level, that is football, sometimes you are up, sometimes things do not go for you. The players tried, the second half we were better, made chances to score, did not take them.

“The first half I was very disappointed with how we played.”

Zidane also admitted that he had no regrets over his decision to rest players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

“Some players needed to rest,” Zidane said, defending his decision. “When you see the team we picked today, you cannot say it is not a competitive team. That is what I do for each game. On paper this was a competitive team, then in the first half no, we did not compete.”

Zidane also talked about his job being on the line.

“Of course,” Zidane admitted. “That is really clear. I am responsible for this, I’m the coach. So I must find solutions. I must take on this situation. I will keep fighting always, keep working, try and look for things to make the team better. Nothing more.”

Many fans and analysts believe that this season will end up being remembered as one of the worst in the club’s illustrious history.

“I don’t know if it is the worst,” Zidane said. “I do not care, really. What I am concerned with is always thinking positively, even after this failure, even tonight when we must apologise to all the fans.

“This is a tough blow for us, but 2018 is not over yet. We must take on the situation, we have a game on Saturday [at Valencia in La Liga], and on February 14 we have a Champions League game.”

“What we must do is think that hard work is how we get out of this,” he said. “We must give more, me first, as all that we have given so far is not enough, we must give more, train harder, help each other more, and we will try and do that.

“You can ask ‘what happens now?’ We will continue, we must change this, there are many games left to do it. Today is a failure for me.”