Mourinho press conference
Jose Mourinho didn’t hold back his satisfaction with his team’s performance during Wednesday’s post-match press conference.
We played well. We pressured a lot and in a very advanced position. We didn’t allow Ajax to play, and they are used to controlling the ball on an open pitch. The team’s physical and mental strength increases by playing. They need time to adapt to the new playing method. They need time to adapt because we play with a lot of intensity.
It isn’t easy playing the way we do; we are focused for 90 minutes and are ambitious. Tomorrow we will have a recovery workout, we will train on Friday before traveling to San Sebastian and then we will recover again for Espanyol. That is why I draw all my conclusions from matches. We can improve little by little. I need time, but I am very optimistic.
Less work for Casillas:
I would be worried had we only had two shots on goal or if Casillas was our player of the match. For many years Casillas was the best Real Madrid player. In the last three matches he has barely touched the ball. Perhaps my forwards weren’t so successful on goal because they pressured so much. We lost some efficiency on goal, but we gained a lot in the sense that we completely dominated the match.
Ronaldo and Higuain:
The best way of working the physcological aspect of Ronaldo and Higuain is by doing nothing. This is their natural habitat. I am more concerned about the way the team is organized. I don’t want to attack with five players and defend with five. I want to defend with ten and attack with six and have another four for balance. Cristiano and Higuain were great tactically tonight. We had dynamic offense and stayed well-balanced. That is what I need to work on. The goals will come. Some team is going to pay heavily for this lack of scoring and the scoreline is going to be huge. The best player in both the Osasuna and Mallorca match was the keeper. Today Ajax’s keeper was very good.
Ronaldo not scoring:
Cristiano can solve his scoring anxiety by one day not playing so well and scoring two or three goals. This happens a lot. You play and try your hardest, you build plays, you assist so that the team shines, but you can’t score. It can happen, but the goals will come.
We use a system that involves a heavy balance of positions. We have the characteristics for a certain dynamic and it is adapted for such a style because Xabi and Khedira form a false duo in the midfield. Khedira moves out of position a lot and Xabi falls back between the two center-backs to develop plays. The attack isn’t really that either because the dynamic involves a lot of variation.
Karim Benzema is intelligent and I hope he knows what he has to do to play more. It’s easy. You can see the game very well from the bench… The way the opposing defense moves, the changes in positioning, the aggressiveness… It’s a perfect spot. He will understand sooner or later.
Ozil and Khedira:
Real Madrid was very smart to sign Ozil and Khedira. We hoped to get these kinds of players because it’s good for the team. For Ozil to have the Bernabeu adore him isn’t easy at all, and I hope he maintains his spot on the pitch for a long time.