Zidane urges Real to 'use heads' to win battle with the Wolves

MADRID • Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane believes his side must play with patience against Wolfsburg when they try to overturn a 0-2 deficit in today's Champions League quarter-final return leg.

The Real players have cranked up the atmosphere before the match at the Bernabeu, with defender Dani Carvajal saying it would be like a war.

But Zidane is wary of his players becoming over-excited during the match.

"There are a lot of messages about firing ourselves up but we need the opposite, it's a hugely important game and we have to use our heads," he told a news conference yesterday.

"We're not going to win the game in 10 or 15 minutes, and they could really complicate things if they score a goal.

"Anything can happen in football, but we have to be concentrated from the first minute.

"Above all we need to play football," added Zidane, who was part of the last Real team to overturn a first-leg defeat in a Champions League knockout round, inspiring a 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in a quarter-final second leg in 2002 on their way to lifting the trophy.

"They (Wolfsburg) are going to start with intensity and we need the same intensity and it's going to be decided with the ball, how much we fight and run."

Should the Bundesliga side score a crucial away goal, Real will need to score at least four times to progress.

Madrid will be at full strength as Karim Benzema has recovered from a knee knock that forced him off in the first leg.

Captain Sergio Ramos returns from suspension, while the likes of Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric were rested for Saturday's 4-0 La Liga win over Eibar.

Wolfsburg were not so successful at the weekend as a 1-1 draw at home to Mainz in the Bundesliga all but ended their hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

Coach Dieter Hecking admitted any chance the Germans were underestimated by Madrid in the first leg will certainly not be repeated in the Spanish capital.

"If it was the case that Real had underestimated us in the first leg, I'm sure they definitely won't do that again," he said.



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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2016, with the headline 'Zidane urges Real to 'use heads' to win battle with the Wolves'. Print Edition | Subscribe