Madrid expect more but Bale will come good, insists Zidane
Zinedine Zidane admits Real Madrid want Gareth Bale to "do more", but has no doubt the Welshman will soon hit top form for Los Blancos.
Bale's performances have come under intense scrutiny amid Madrid's stuttering start in LaLiga during which time Cristiano Ronaldo has been serving a five-match domestic ban for pushing the referee in the Supercopa de Espana against Barcelona.
The forward has been subjected to whistles from the Santiago Bernabeu crowd and missed two good chances in last weekend's 1-1 draw against Levante.
To emphasise Ronaldo's importance to the team, the Portuguese scored twice in the midweek 3-0 victory over APOEL in their Champions League opener.
But Zidane once again hit back at the critics of the former Tottenham star, who was hindered towards the end of last season by an ankle injury, and is backing Bale to give plenty for the team.
"Everything takes time, Bale needs time, just that," he said at a news conference previewing Madrid's trip to Real Sociedad.
"The dynamic for a player is to train normally and that is what he is doing. Then, of course, we want him to do more on the field, but we are calm because he is going to make sure that soon he will do very well."
Asked if Bale, who was the world's most expensive player when Madrid signed him from Spurs in 2013, is under too much pressure, he added: "He can cope with the pressure.
"The price, there will always be comment. When they brought me here, they were waiting for me [to perform] and at first it cost me.
"The most important thing is the motivation of the player, what the player wants. The rest you have to be calm, as I am, and we will wait for the best Bale.
"I have no doubt he's going to do well. There has to be more patience. He is used to all that and it does not weigh him down."
Madrid have five points from their opening three Liga matches following back-to-back home draws against Valencia and Levante.
And Zidane was asked whether he thought Ronaldo's absence would be felt so keenly.
"He's important, what he's done and who he is," the France great added.
"But when there is no Cristiano we have a template to do it right. It is important to know that we have other players.
"Tomorrow we will not have many who normally play and I trust in my players."