Zinedine Zidane is convinced Real Madrid can still qualify for the Copa del Rey semi-finals, despite suffering a 2-1 defeat to Celta Vigo in the first leg of the quarter-finals played at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night (18 January). The French boss said that he is not concerned about recent disappointments as he believes that his side only need "more intensity and energy" to get back on track.
The Champions League winners suffered their second consecutive loss against Eduardo Berizzo's side, after the weekend saw a 40-match unbeaten run ended with a 2-1 defeat to Sevilla.
However, Zidane is holding out hope and thinks they can turn the situation around in next week's reverse fixture at Balaidos.
"I wasn't surprised by Celta's performance, they're a good side and have what it takes to hurt you. I'm not worried, we're going through a bad patch right now, after these two defeats.
"We know that we have to get through this and we'll do just that. We've still got the return leg to come and we've got to put this game behind us. We're behind in the tie but we know that we're capable of going there and changing all that. Before then, we've got a game in La Liga and we've got to rest up," Zidane said in a press conference after the defeat.
"I'm in charge of the side and it's up to me to find a solution. Maybe we needed this defeat. We now have to overcome this situation and find a solution. We must keep our cool, be calm and continue to work just as we have been. The squad isn't affected by this, but we have to perform with a lot more intensity and energy to overcome this minor setback."
Real Madrid looked headed towards the treble before this bad run, starting the 2016-17 season in flying form. Nevertheless, they still lead La Liga ahead of Sevilla and Barcelona and have also qualified for the Champions League round of 16.
Zidane admitted that the two consecutive defeats have been a blow for the morale of his side, but believes there is still nothing to worry about – and challenged his side to react in the coming La Liga clash with Malaga on Saturday.
"The defeat in Seville has affected us, it's had a negative impact on the team. There are no excuses, we're Real Madrid and we need to continue to work hard and think about our next game. We'll get over this. We've been doing things well until now, but we can't be happy with the results in the last two games, however we're not worried," Zidane said.
"The last two opponents have caused us problems and we have to analyse it because something isn't right. We didn't do things as we had prepared, especially in terms of the intensity, which was not good at the beginning of the game. Physically, we didn't start the game well, but that's not to say that we're not right physically, we're in good shape. Our last La Liga game was a tough one."