Real Madrid coach Ancelotti not surprised by post-World Cup drop in form

by IANS |

Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Jan 11 (IANS) Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has admitted his side has "not played well" since returning to action following the World Cup in Qatar, but added that he was not surprised by recent displays.

Although Real Madrid won 2-0 away to Valladolid in La Liga, they only scraped 1-0 past fourth-tier Cacereno in the Copa del Rey last week and then lost 2-1 to Villarreal in the league on Saturday.

Speaking to the press ahead of Wednesday's semifinal of the Spanish Supercup against Valencia in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Ancelotti accepted that his team had not been at its best, reports Xinhua.

"There are a lot of games and there is not much rest time, we have dropped points because we have not played well," he admitted on Tuesday evening.

The Italian said he was not worried about a dip in form as he still had a "compact, solid block" of players and commented that after the demands of the World Cup, a dip in form was "predictable."

"We're hurt by what happened to Villarreal, but we have to see how the team reacts. The Supercup is a very important exam," he said, adding that Real Madrid "have to fight for all the titles."

"We have one very close to trying to win it," commented Ancelotti, saying any other concerns could wait until later and highlighting how winning the title last season had given his players a morale boost on their way to the La Liga and Champions League double.

"We have two games; we have to do well and try to get home with another title."

He was also asked about fielding a starting 11 in Villarreal without any Spanish players for the first time in history, but insisted it was "just a coincidence."

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