Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane has won seven of his 10 matches as Real Madrid bossGetty Images

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said he was pleased with the performance of his young players after the 3-1 victory over Levante. With Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema both absent through injury, Lucas Vazquez and 18-year-old Borja Mayoral from Real Madrid Castilla stepped up to help the visitors beat La Liga's bottom club at the Ciutat de Valencia.

It was a welcome result for Zidane, whose appointment to the Santiago Bernabeu hot seat, has come under renewed scrutiny after the derby defeat against Atletico Madrid on 27 February.

"When there are a lot of changes you always think it may make things more difficult. When a player doesn't play a lot, it is difficult but today you couldn't see that," the Frenchman told Real's official website.

"We have to give everything we have out on the pitch, and that doesn't just apply to academy players.

"We also want to perform at our top level but sometimes things go well and sometimes they don't. [But] that is what we have to do: run and be committed."

Mayoral praise

Zidane reserved special praise for Mayoral after the young forward forced Diego Marino to concede an own goal late in the first half.

"We know what Borja can bring to the team. It is clear that he is the second nine," he stated.

"He is doing well, he is committed, he trains well and is very young. He plays with confidence and personality."

Borja Mayoral
Borja Mayoral (right) has scored 11 goals in 23 league appearances for Real Madrid Castilla this seasonGetty Images

The 43-year-old continued: "It was a team victory. Everyone committed and worked hard. It wasn't easy and we got the three points and had a great game.

"At the start of the game we had a little difficulty and afterwards we got into it and we all had a good game."

Real closed the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona to nine points with their win at Levante, with Luis Enrique's side in action against Rayo Vallecano on 3 March.