‘Mid-season World Cup break has affected players’

“(Because of the World Cup) it was allowed that the players would not be at their best at the moment. Still, we are seeing positives in the training sessions.”

Ancelotti spoke about the loss against Villarreal at a press conference in Riyadh, the Saudi capital. The veteran Italian coach is desperate to avoid a repeat of that.

“I was surprised at the Villarreal. We have to start things right again. Not our (coaches’) jobs, because we don’t have time to work.”

“This team knows how to defend well, we have the quality players we need in attack, but we need to provide that by building a more solid foundation.”

The Spanish Super Cup holders travel to Saudi on Monday without defensive midfielder Ahelia Chuameni and centre-back David Alaba. Due to the injury of these two, Real’s defense has weakened somewhat. But Ancelotti is optimistic the defensive tenacity will be seen soon.

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