Real Madrid defender Marcelo has hailed Rafael Benitez as an "amazing coach" and backed him to get the best out of his squad despite an unconvincing start to his reign. The ex-Liverpool and Chelsea boss is under scrutiny one match into his Real reign after his team began their La Liga campaign with a tame goalless draw at newly-promoted Sporting Gijon on 23 August.
The Spanish giants have struggled for creativity in the absence of injured striker Karim Benzema and have failed to score in five of the nine matches they have played under Benitez, including pre-season friendlies. Benitez started young forward Jese as the lone striker against Sporting supported by Isco and Cristiano Ronaldo on the wings and Gareth Bale in a free role.
The decision failed to pay off as Real could not find the back of the net despite having 27 shots on goal at El Molinon. Benitez insisted after the match that Real's performance would improve with time and Marcelo affirmed that view, saying there was no cause for alarm so early in the season.
"We weren't at our best in that game but we're going to take away the positives and get better. It was just the first game, we have a lot of time ahead of us," Marcelo was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. "There's a good feeling in the squad. Benitez is an amazing coach, very competitive. He talks to us a lot and shows us where we have to improve, he's on top of it all to make us better."
Marcelo netted a sublime goal in Real's 2-1 win over Galatasaray in the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy and said he would continue to work hard to improve his personal form. "I'm always trying to get better. I'm at the best club in the world and that helps a lot to keep giving my best for the fans. I've been congratulated a number of times on my goal in the Bernabeu Trophy match, but that's in the past now. My mind is focused on continuing to improve in each game," he said.