Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has admitted that Eden Hazard is low on confidence after he delivered another poor performance in the 2:1 Spanish Super cup defeat to Athletic Bilbao on Thursday night.
Hazard is Real Madrid’s record signing but has scored just 2 goals in all competitions this season whilst offering very little in attack. This was also the case in Los Blancos’ 0:0 draw against Osasuna in La Liga last weekend.
‘He needs to recover confidence, play a great game, or score a goal, just to do something different. We know what a great player he is and we need to be patient with him as he is working hard,’ Zidane told reporters.
‘We are behind him and we must give him time. The fans want to see the best version of Eden so we must be patient. We’re sticking with him and he really wants to step up. But today it wasn’t just Eden, we’re all in this together.’
On Thursday, the Belgian was named as the Ultimate Icon for the past 125 years in celebration of Belgium’s Royal Football Association’s 125th anniversary. However, this did very little to boost his performance against Athletic Bilbao.
Real Madrid were Super Cup champions last year but were surprised by an Athletic side that have improved under new manager Marcelino, who was in charge of his second game after replacing Gaizka Garitano.
Raul Garcia was on song twice as he scored the opener by capitalizing on an error by Lucas Vazquez before converting a penalty to make it 2 nil.
Karim Benzema threatened a comeback and set up a tense finish after scoring a late goal. However, Athletic Bilbao did their best to hold on and will face Barcelona in the final on Sunday.
‘Today we struggled in the first half, we improved in the second but it wasn’t enough,’ added Zidane.
‘We were not able to read the game well. They pressed us very well and we lost the ball a lot, which was unusual for us.
‘We know there’ll be a lot of external noise after this but we’ll just focus on keep working hard.’