'I've spent more time on the bench than on the pitch' – Benzema

Karim Benzema has expressed his frustration at the amount of time he has spent on the substitutes bench for Real Madrid this season.

The 24-year-old has struggled for consistency so far, scoring only once in nine Liga matches, and thus has has slipped behind Gonzalo Higuian in the pecking order at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Though the French forward concedes that he wants to be playing more frequently, he insists he will take his chance to impress when it comes, adding that boss Jose Mourinho is fully supportive of his contribution to the team.

“Sure I want to play more and I’ve spent more time on the bench than the pitch, but I’m going to fight to take advantage of the minutes they give me,” Benzema was quoted as saying by L’Equipe.

“He [Mourinho] is always behind me and never lets me give up. Even when things are going well he is always telling me I’m doing okay, including when things go very well. He does this so we can all maintain a very high level.

“When I get playing time I try to do my best and score or give an assist, but I can never relax.”

Benzema has been criticised by the likes of Jean-Pierre Papin for his displays for France, and although the former Lyon star admits his scoring record for Les Bleus could be better, he tries to adapt his game for the good of the team.

“It’s true that I’ve scored less than I have with Madrid but I take part in much of the play and try to create space,” he continued.

“I’m not worried about it because I make some decisive passes. If they wanted me to I wouldn’t give any assists, play solely in the area and score more goals.

“I could do that but it would be detrimental to the team.”

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