Mourinho: Real Madrid not used to playing every three days

13:08, February 02, 2011      

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Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho excused his sides recent dip in form by the fact they are playing two games a week.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's Copa del Rey semi-final return leg against Sevilla, Mourinho explained recent performances, which saw his side draw away to Almeria a fortnight ago and lose to Osasuna last Sunday by pointing to a packed fixture calendar.

Madrid' s progress in the Copa del Rey has seen them play two games a week since the start of the year, as have FC Barcelona and the other Cup semi-finalists, and the coach believes his players are paying for their efforts.

"Real Madrid has been knocked out of the Cup and the Champions League in the first round in recent years and the players are not used to this rhythm of matches. It is not a problem for the most habitual players to play nine games in a month, but others are not so used to doing so, because we have had several years in which Madrid has been knocked out of the cup in the first or second round," he said in a press conference broadcast on Gol television in Spain.

"We are not used to playing every three days, but I am confident that in the Champions League we are going to beat Lyon and progress to the quarter-finals, so the players will have to get used to playing more midweek games. I hope that next year they do better and in even more so in two or three years, because we want to keep going in every competition," added Mourinho.

The Real Madrid coach put his players' inability to play twice a week to lack of habit.

"These players are men and in other teams there are men who play every three days. A man is a creature of habit so a footballer is a creature of habit, so next year they will have the habit of playing more," said Mourinho.

Mourinho also highlighted the absence of central defender Pepe, who has been out for the past month with a muscle injury, the coach said Pepe was vital to his team.

He also refused to be drawn on the subject of whether or not his side could win the BBVA Primera Liga title after falling seven points behind Barcelona.

"Ask me that question next weekend," commented Mourinho.

Source: Xinhua
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