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Zidane Wants More From Bale as Madrid Face Sociedad

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has made it clear that the team needs their record signing Gareth Bale to fire.

News18 Sports

Updated:September 17, 2017, 2:40 PM IST
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Zidane Wants More From Bale as Madrid Face Sociedad
Gareth Bale . (Image credit: Reuters)
Madrid: La Liga champions Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has made it clear that the team needs their record signing Gareth Bale to fire.

Bale scored in the first Liga game of the season at Deportivo La Coruna but has not found the net since and was whistled at by Madrid fans on Wednesday during the 3-0 Champions League win over Apoel Nicosia.

"We want and need him to do more on the pitch, and he does too," Zidane told a news conference. "But we are calm because he will do it soon."

Real Madrid face high-flying Real Sociedad at Anoeta on Sunday and, with Cristiano Ronaldo serving the final match of his five-game suspension and Karim Benzema injured, the onus will be on Bale to make the difference.

However, Zidane said the winger does not have to be the team’s leader in the clash against Eusebio Sacristan’s second-placed side, who have won all three of their opening games and are three points behind Barcelona with a game in hand.

"We don't have to think that because Cristiano and Karim are not there he has to be the leader, there are other important players too."

"He will do his job," said Zidane. "Each day he feels better. I said that he has had four months out of the team due to injury and to return to his level he needs time."

"Occasionally a player makes the difference with his goals, his moves, but we make the difference as a group more than an individual player."

Zidane confirmed that Toni Kroos and Jesus Vallejo would miss the game with injury problems in a squad already missing Ronaldo, Benzema and the suspended Marcelo. Madrid are already seven points behind Barca after the Catalans won narrowly at Getafe on Saturday, which increases the pressure on Bale.

"If Bale scores two goals, everyone will be happy and the dynamic of what everyone thinks of Gareth will change," said Zidane.

(With agency inputs)
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