Sports Desk, Oct 18 (EFE).- Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti said Monday he is convinced his players will correct the mistakes they made in recent defeats against Sheriff Tiraspol and Espanyol, acknowledging that his squad had lacked organization and a sense of identity.
“The team’s fine, motivated by an important game (in the Champions League group phase on Tuesday against Shakhtar Donetsk),” he said in a press conference at the Olympic National Sports Complex in Kyiv, Ukraine.
“We made mistakes in the last two games we played. There was lack of organization, and we’ve worked on the errors we made. The team is ready for a difficult game against an opponent that plays well and will try to do everything to win.”
Ancelotti also said a change in formation is in store after a shocking 2-1 loss to Moldovan club Sheriff Tiraspol in the Champions League group stage on Sept. 28 and a 2-1 defeat to Espanyol in LaLiga on Oct. 3. Real Madrid is currently in second place (behind Sheriff) in Champions League Group D and in second place (behind Real Sociedad) in LaLiga.
“I tried to defend with a 4-4-2, like we did against Espanyol. And it didn’t work out,” the Italian head coach said. “The idea I have is very clear. This team has to play 4-3-3, there’s no other way … For this group it’s the best system and the one they’re most accustomed to.”
The international break came at the right time for Real Madrid, with only forward Eden Hazard now battling a muscle injury.
“Other than that small problem, we’ve made use of this time to get two important players like (Ferland) Mendy and Marcelo back to health, and the physical condition of (Toni) Kroos has improved,” Ancelotti said.
The Shakhtar contest is the first match in a week in which Real Madrid also will square off against arch-rival FC Barcelona on Sunday at Camp Nou.
“They’re two very important matches,” Ancelotti said. “We have to do well in this stretch after the break. The team is prepared and motivated because they know how important (Tuesday’s) game is for the group.”
With Kroos on the road to full recovery and Casemiro having overcome a tooth infection, Ancelotti can deploy a group of veteran midfielders – Luka Modric included – that have helped lead the Blancos to a host of titles.
“They’re players who are still competing because they’re still elite. And I’m also fortunate to have a squad with young players like (Federico) Valverde, (Antonio) Blanco and (Eduardo) Camavinga who push them in practice so they’re ready and prepared for anything,” Ancelotti said. “We have a midfield that can compete with anybody.” EFE