Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has said his players must react to recent setbacks and get off to a winning start in the Champions League.
Los Blancos take on Swiss outfit Basle at the Santiago Bernabeu in their first game in the tournament since lifting the trophy back in May.
The side have got off to a slow start domestically, losing the Spanish Supercopa in August and have been beaten twice in their first three La Liga matches – most recently to city rivals Atletico de Madrid at the weekend.
Speaking to reporters at his press conference ahead of the game, Ancelotti said he and the players need to fix things starting tonight.
“This match comes just at the right time because it will be good to react. I hope it is a good match to do so. I feel like a coach who has to fix things with the team, like last year. Starting this competition well is very important and we are keen to win it again,” he stated.
And he added that the memory of winning the tournament in May will spur the players on to reach the same dizzy heights this season. “We are motivated by being competitive in the most important competition in the world and the wonderful memory of last year. We work and fight in order that we may do it again this year. We have a chance because we’re very competitive,” the Italian stated.
He was keen to stress though that the players would not be underestimating Basle, who have achieved some significant results in big matches, including seeing off Chelsea and Manchester United.
“They are a very good team who play dynamic football that I like. They are also dynamic in defence and create good chances in attack. The team is dangerous, especially early in the season, as they showed by beating Chelsea in both matches last year.”