Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has urged his team to end January on a high note by seeing off Espanyol in the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final tie.
Los Blancos have begun 2014 in sensational form, winning all seven matches so far and keeping seven clean sheets in the process. An eighth clean sheet on Tuesday would see Madrid reach the semi-final having won the first game 1-0, and secure a club record for the longest amount of time without conceding.
As well as making progress in the Copa de Rey this month, Real have also cut the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona and Atletico de Madrid to just one point. And Ancelotti said he is delighted with how his players have performed over the last few weeks.
Speaking to journalists ahead of the match at the Santiago Bernabeu, Ancelotti said: “It has been a very good month of January. We have made up points in the league and are much more confident in how the team are playing. It has been a very good month and we have to finish it well with a good match tomorrow.”
When asked about whether lifting the Copa del Rey would be a good achievement in his first season, like Jose Mourinho did, the Italian said it would not be enough. “The Copa del Rey is not enough for us. We are doing very well in all competitions and we have to do what we can to win everything,” Ancelotti stated.
He added that he does not like talking about his own performance as a manager, and would rather let his team do the talking. “I do not like talking about myself. It was a joke when I said that the coach was doing a good job. I’m doing a lot press conferences and that’s good for you all. If you want, we can do one every day,” he said.