Zinedine Zidane insisted the absence of key players was no excuse for Real Madrid’s 1-0 La Liga defeat to RCD Mallorca, and refused to say he is “worried”.
Zidane’s unbeaten start in La Liga this season came to an unexpected end on Saturday after Lago Junior’s seventh-minute goal earned Mallorca a 1-0 win over Real Madrid. The loss saw them surrender top spot to rivals Barcelona as a result.
Although Los Blancos had lost some key men in Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale and Lucas Vazquez to injuries for the clash.
Therefore, Zidane had to field a makeshift side in a 4-4-2 formation for the trip to Son Moix. He seemingly placed his main focus on his attacking talent rather than overall balance by starting the likes of Luka Jovic, James Rodriguez and Vinicius Junior.
But the Frenchman’s gamble didn’t pay off in the end as Real struggled to create any decent opportunities.
Nevertheless, he accepts there are no excuses for what happened in Mallorca.
“The injuries aren’t an excuse. There are players who aren’t injured; we have more good payers, too,” said Zidane, according to Marca.
“When it comes to their turn, they have to show that they’re at the level to be here. We can’t do anything about the injured players.
“We can’t be surprised by a team playing in their own stadium and knew what would happen. They surprised us because they scored, but then they backed down and we didn’t find a solution.”
Following a convincing 4-2 win over Granada last time out, many felt Los Merengues returned to form.
But the display at Son Moix suggested otherwise, with Zidane trying to remain cool on the result while urging better consistency from his players.
“The problem is that we have to show every three days that we’re good,” Zidane said. “That’s the difficulty – we don’t do it.
“I won’t say that I’m worried because I don’t like the word, but if we want to win something this season, we need consistency.”
Real will return to action on Tuesday away to Turkish giants Galatasaray in the Champions League. With just a point in two games in Group A, Zidane’s men need a victory to keep their knockout qualification hopes alive.