Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Solari for permanent Real Madrid job?

Real Madrid interim coach Santi Solari exclaimed that his players deserved all the praise after Wednesday’s 5-0 Champions League demolition of Viktoria Plzen, with many on the squad saying Solari should maintain the job till the end of the season.

The result keeps the Los Blancos as winners in each of the last three seasons on course to make the last-16 of this year’s competition, while Solari is now the first Madrid manager since the 1950s to win each of his first three games in charge, while keeping three clean sheets.

The former Madrid midfielder was asked at the postmatch news conference in Plzen how he had managed to transform a team that had taken just one point from the last five games under previous coach Julen Lopetegui.

“The players are those who have achieved this, those who go onto the pitch and play the game so seriously,” Solari responded. “We played a very serious game from start to finish, you cannot win 5-0 in the Champions League without that.

“Today the players showed their quality — we saw some really beautiful goals today. There are great players in this team. They are capable of going as far as they want. They have shown that in the past. They have no limit. Once they play with this seriousness, commitment and wanting to score… We must keep going forward with humility, hard work and aggression in attack.”

Pressed as to whether he now saw himself likely to get the job permanently, the Argentine said he could only think about Saturday’s La Liga game at Celta Vigo. After that match, he must either be confirmed as Lopetegui’s replacement until the end of the season at least or return to coaching Madrid’s Castilla youth team.

“I can just think about the next game,” he said. “And it is not bad to have that philosophy. In football the most important is always the next game. Today we did very well, the players were fantastic. Now we must move on and prepare for the weekend. That is a cliche, but it is true.”

Karim Benzema, who is constantly on fire, has regained his scoring boots as he netted a brace against Viktoria Plzen.

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