José Luis Mendilibar is looking for the team to continue their good form as they prepare for the LALIGA EA SPORTS MD8 fixture away at FC Barcelona tomorrow night.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, the coach began by stating that "the idea is to use a lot of players because we have so many games. You don't have time to truly recover in these spells and we give players minutes because they are playing well and because they are going to give us results. I don't reward them if they haven't done anything."
"We're in good form and I hope we can keep it going. The results have been better since the international break, we haven't conceded as many goals... that benefits the group in every way."
The Basque coach is hopeful of a good performance against the champions: "Playing better helps you have confidence in yourself both as an individual and as a team for tomorrow. The idea is there. They are a tough team to face, even more so at their stadium, but I think they are conceding more goals than last year, and it makes you think that we can create something. To win there we will surely need more than one goal, but we are confident of going there with a good mentality to win."
"We have to be brave without solely focusing on our opponents"
Mendilibar then focused on his record against Barcelona: "It's been a long time since I've won there. We have to be brave without solely focusing on our opponents. If we focus on ourselves I'm sure we can win."
The coach then discussed the role of Sergio Ramos: "We're talking about the most successful centre-half with Real Madrid and the national team. Sergio will always help us, both on the pitch and the bench... A top-class player like him will always be a support for both the squad and myself, he helps us all."
As for injury news, he spoke about Óliver Torres and Acuña: "We'll see if Acuña can take part. We'll have training now, he's had three full sessions with the group. He could make it but we're not sure. Óliver won't travel but he could start training on Saturday."