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'I know it is difficult' - Zidane pleads for backing from Real Madrid supporters

23:50 IST 24/08/2019
Real Madrid 2019-20
Los Blancos were held to a 1-1 draw by Real Valladolid and their manager was left frustrated with fans who he believes should be supporting the club

Zinedine Zidane urged Real Madrid fans to stay on side as he recognises the team are under more pressure this term because of last season's troubles. 

Madrid played their first home match of the 2019-20 campaign on Saturday but were held to a shock 1-1 draw by Real Valladolid

Karim Benzema scored what Madrid thought to be the winner in the 82nd minute, but Sergi Guardiola struck his second goal of the season even later to salvage a commendable point for the visitors. 

Little has gone the way of Madrid – or Zidane – in recent months, with their close season marred by the ugly Gareth Bale transfer saga, poor friendly performances and uncertainty around some of the new signings. 

Having finished last season 19 points adrift of Barcelona, Zidane knows the pressure has increased again this season and he is demanding that fans to lend their backing. 

When asked if the team is under more scrutiny because of last term, Zidane said: "I noticed it at the Bernabeu - the crowd [feels the pressure] too. 

"The fans also have to help us. There's no choice. I know it is difficult, but I'm asking because they have also taken advantage of our successes. We will try everything on our part." 

Zidane also felt his side deserved a better result than the draw on Saturday, though he admits it was a mistake from Madrid that allowed Valladolid to pull level late on.  

"We have a bad feeling because we did the hardest thing, to score the goal in the second half, when we were not playing well," Zidane said. "And with three or four minutes remaining they tied us.  

"We were out of position and it is tough, because we deserved more, especially in the first half. 

“It is not about lose that ball, because that is something that can happen, but we were out of place to defend it and that is hard. In that situation we have to put the ball out.  

“It was not possible to win from there. We have to improve. We have to play well for 90 minutes. These days it is not good enough to play 50 or 60 good minutes.”