trained as much as we normally do with the exception that we didn’t do stretching exercises outside today. We did that in the gym. We’ve avoided having the players be still too long in order to avoid injuries influenced by the cold.
How is Cannavaro?
He did physical workouts and no ball exercises. I’ve called up 19 players and I will wait to see how fit he is tomorrow.
You changed your tactics against Osasuna. Are you thinking about using different options against Deportivo?
Every game is different. I like my men to be the first to find out what the starting lineup will be. We’ll use the 24 hours we have left and see if Fabio is eventually fit to play.
Deportivo have had a couple of weak years, but they seem to be gradually reaching the level of form they had in the past.
‘Superdepor’ was an excellent team that even reached the Champions League semifinals, but the current squad is young and under construction. It seems they’ve made some interetsing changes recently and I believe that they could become a magnificent team if they carry on playing like this, although I don’t know if they will ever be as good as ‘Superdepor’ was.
Do you find it excessive to hear people talking about possible signings?
I think it is normal for agreatteam like Real Madrid to be surrounded by rumours of that sort. We only think about our job. We don’t think all that is too important. We think about one day at a time and we don’t worry about what may happen in the future.
Saviola has complained about his situation on the team. Do you understand him?
I like incomformist players. My men must be ambitious. Real Madrid have many players and only eleven can make the starting lineup. The others have to wait for their chance. If a player wants to play every weekend he should look for an inferior team. Competition here is very strong. Those players that play more than him have sufficient quality to be starters on this team.
People also talk about coaches that may sign for the Club. Does that bother you?
My answer is the same as what I said before. Rumours here are normal, especially with the coming elecion, but we shouldn’t worry about that.
If Cannavaro recovers, your starting lineup could be the same as it’s been in the last couple of games. Would you like to have a fixed and experienced lineup to face Liverpool?
I think every player on this team is important and I believe they should all help. Playing every seven days allows us to recover well and gives us the chance to use the same starting lineup. I would love all my men to participate. Now that there’s hardly any injured players the team is responidng well and winning games.
Do you think Cannavaro will stay at Real Madrid?
He is a magnificent player; a true professional. He has unique quality. I am delighted with him.
Now that there is a coming election, do you more than ever feel as a temp coach?
Not at all. It is a privilege to work for Real Madrid and it has incalculable value in my CV. I know I have six months left and that I must use them well to work hard every day.
Lass played as a right back the other day. Did you prefer him there than as a central midfielder?
It is great to have versatile players because they can be used in different tactical schemes. Lass is like that and did a different job. I know he will do well wherever I decide to position him.
Would you rather choose Lass than Huntelaar to play in the Champions League?
I don’t have to make that decision now. I will wait until the very end of January because there are some games left and the team could have a weaker position. I will make that decision right at the very end.
Do you consider the squad to be perfect as it is?
I limit myself to work hard every day -something this squad is accustomed to- and to make the squad do its best in every game.