MADRID (AFP) - Welsh star Gareth Bale can do better, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Friday.
Bale has been struggling to recapture his best form since returning from a calf injury but Italian Ancelotti says it is normal that he takes time to settle.
"For his first year, he's doing well," said the former Chelsea, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain coach.
"Of course he can do better because he needs to combine better with his teammates.
"But those are normal problems for a player who's discovering a new culture, new football and new country."
Bale was suffering from an inflammation of the calf after picking up a knock in training but returned to first-team action earlier this month.
The 24-year-old has not been able to regain the starting berth he seemed to have made his own in November.
In Real's four matches so far in 2014, the player signed from Tottenham Hotspur for a fee in the region of 100 million euros (S$173 million) has had little influence.
It is a far cry from his form in November when he scored eight goals and created six others during a seven-game spell.
"It's not a problem about being in the starting line-up or not, Gareth Bale is a very, very important player for us," added Ancelotti.
"Gareth Bale's history is very clear: he had problems in pre-season but when he started getting fit, he played well. He scored a lot of goals and provided some good assists."