Real Madrid coach Benitez wants improvement after narrow win

Madrid, Aug 19 (IANS) Spanish football heavyweight Real Madrid’s coach Rafael Benitez watched his side claim an unconvincing 2-1 win over Turkish side Galatasaray in a pre-season match and has admitted there was still plenty of room for improvement.

Goals from defenders Nacho and Marcelo gave Madrid a narrow win in their traditional pre-season opener on Tuesday night, but with La Liga due to kick off this weekend, Benitez said he expected more from his players as the season progressed, reports Xinhua.

Real Madrid begin their La Liga campaign away against Sporting Gijon on Sunday.

“The team is doing well but we have a lot of improving to do. There were some positive things but we lacked the control which would have made the game more manageable,” Benitez told reporters on Wednesday morning.

Benitez said he believes forward Gareth Bale is going to be a key player this season as the Welshman was given a free role in the middle of the attack.

“He creates spaces and looks to make runs behind the defence. If he had scored in the game, everyone would have said he had given a great performance, but if you look at the way he moves, you will see how he takes the pressure off,” he explained, also hailing the arrival of Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

“He’s a quality player… he’s dynamic, passes the ball well and has a decent shot. He doesn’t shy away from his responsibilities and that will make him a great player for Real Madrid,” said Benitez.

He refused to be drawn into the long running debate over David de Gea, who the club are looking to sign from English side Manchester United.

“Keylor Navas had a very good game and I have two good goalkeepers,” commented the Madrid coach.

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