Mourinho: "It is fundamental to know what players I have"

Real Madrid plays the return leg of the Super Cup in the Santiago Bernabéu against Barcelona and the White’s manager, José Mourinho, analysed the meeting in the lead up to the match in a press conference: “The tie is open. The first leg result can’t change. In the league, we lost the last match at home. In the cup, we lost here and in Barcelona I don’t know how we didn’t win... We drew in the Super Cup and again I don’t how we didn’t win in Barcelona. We are both great teams with some of the best players and anything can happen".

Mourinho at the press conference

The manager knows full well that the match will be tough and that it is difficult to make a game plan, but also that it is an open tie given the result in the first leg. “It is very difficult to make plans for matches and it is tough to makes things go your plan. You don’t know what will happen and matches change on small details. A game plan is very difficult when they have the ball, we have to try and defend well and, when we have it, we have to try and play well, with freedom, and score. If you can call it a plan, it is a basic plan. When they have the ball, defend and, when we have it, we try to score straight away”, explained Mourinho, who added when asked about what the team has to do to defeat Barcelona: “Nothing. You saw the first game just like me. You know how you drew level and you know that going from 1-0 to 1-1 in a single minute is an important difference. The team played well and we will try to perform well again”.

Real Madrid have formalised the signing of the Croatian footballer Luka Modric, and the Portuguese manager spoke about his physical shape and his adaptation into the team. “He is in a normal physical condition for someone who hasn’t trained with his team in a while or even played a lot. He has got minutes under his belt for his national team but nothing else. I think that, given his profile, he won’t need a lot of time to get himself into shape. I think he’ll be ready shortly”. In relation to the position he will take on the field, he pointed out: “Wherever he feels uncomfortable”, he joked: “When we sign a player we know where he feels comfortable, and why we wanted to sign him and why we have taken such a long time. He was our number one target. We know what his game is all about and what his favourite position is. He will play in a position that he calls his own. He certainly won’t be playing as a number 9 or a left-back”.

The manager was asked about the last league game and if he held a meeting with his players, to which he replied: “I spoke but I have nothing to say about what was said. I haven’t seen the press reports but I have seen that some have mentioned this meeting. We did have a meeting and I said what I had to say about the analysis of the previous game. I won’t tell you what was said”.

José Mourinho also summed up the three matches that his team has played thus far: “In the first league game, our game was acceptable without being spectacular. The team played well in the second half. We drew but we deserved to win. That is normal in my opinion. In the second game, we played well against tough opposition. We sat back in the first half, and the second half was very balanced and, in my opinion, good despite the result and the fact we lost 3-2 which leaves the game wide open. Acceptable too. In the third game, the team’s performance was unacceptable in all aspects, concentration, tactically… for me it was unacceptable”. “In the Coliseum, the team played as Cristiano performed. He was neither better nor worse than the team. That is why I put the eleven in the same boat because no one player was better than the others”, he stated about the game of Ronaldo.

“Ricardo is not part of our plans for the season. We have four central defenders, but he is a contracted player and we have to respect that. A lot of teams are interested in Ricardo. He is a quality player and there is interest in him. There are various teams from different leagues who have shown an interest in him. It is up to him whether he wants to continue playing football or stay at Real Madrid and meet his contractual obligations and practically end his sporting career. Pepe had a good training session yesterday and there were no problems. He left early for the birth of his daughter. Mother and daughter are doing well, I think he will be better than ever today and we are hopeful that he will be able to play tomorrow”, he stated about the situation of Carvalho and Pepe.

In relation to the ins and outs of first team footballers, he explained what the situation is up to the close of the transfer window. “I can’t go into details about whether I have spoken to each player. We have to wait until 31 August with Kaká. If he goes, he goes, and if he doesn’t, we will try to get the best out of him, like all the other players in our squad. But the market is still open and the squad is not final”, Mourinho said.

“I don’t have this kind of problem. For me it is only the difference in attitude between the first two games and the last. For me, winning the Super Cup or beating Barcelona is not important. For me, the important thing is knowing if the attitude we had against Getafe was fleeting or if it is a situation resulting from a certain psychological profile that some players, and in this case the team has created. This is the fundamental point for me. I can lose the Super Cup or the match. But for me it is fundamental to know what players I have, and what individual and collective psychological profile I am dealing with. And if the situation of Getafe is an occasional situation or if we are going to repeat the psychological profile of the team tomorrow. That is the only thing that worries me”, concluded the manager of Real Madrid.

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