Zidane not worried by careless Real displays
BARCELONA (Reuters) - Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is not worried by his team's performances following three successive draws but knows they have a lot of work to do to return to winning ways.
The European champions have struggled to maintain their flying start to the season and after equalling the La Liga record for 16 wins in a row have failed to beat Villarreal, Las Palmas and Borussia Dortmund.
Real twice squandered the lead in their last two games, drawing 2-2 against Las Palmas and Dortmund, and they host Eibar on Sunday.
"When you draw twice it means something, especially when you had the game under control. We had a lot of chances but I'm not worried," Zidane told a news conference on Saturday.
"We've conceded twice in the last two games and that hasn't happened to us for a long time. Now we have to get back to winning, because we always want to win. The most important thing is to be at our best from the start to the finish."
The coach also said he was not bothered by the criticism he and his players have come in for.
"This is Real Madrid, the biggest of all the big clubs and this is how it is, but even knowing that I'm trying to find solutions, finding out why we lacked concentration at Las Palmas," he said.
"If tomorrow we don't play well I know what can happen, even though we won the Champions League last season. I know where I am."
Real entertain Eibar without influential midfielder Luka Modric, who sustained a knee injury against Dortmund, and captain Sergio Ramos, who is being rested and was absent from Saturday's training session.
Zidane confirmed midfielder Isco would make his first start of the season in place of Modric.
Isco was named in the Spain squad for World Cup qualifiers against Italy and Albania despite playing just 55 minutes of league football this campaign.
Isco sustained an ankle injury at the start of September and has struggled to dislodge Modric as the team's primary playmaker.
"He's going to play tomorrow because he's in good shape and because he's an important player," Zidane said.
"There's a reason he's been called up by Spain despite playing. I'm one of Isco's biggest fans, now he's fit and is an important player for us."
(Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond)