Ancelotti: Madrid's next three games as important as El Clasico

The 55-year-old Blancos boss is warning his playes against looking ahead to their trip to Catalunya

Carlo Ancelotti says Real Madrid’s next three Liga games are as important their crunch Clasico clash with Barcelona on March 22.

Los Blancos currently lead the way in the Spain with a four-point advantage over the second-placed Catalans, whom they must still face at Camp Nou in a match that could have a huge impact on where the title will end up.

However, before concentrating on that top-of-the-table fixture, Ancelotti says his side must remain focused and treat their forthcoming meetings with Villarreal, Athletic Bilbao and Levante as though they were as important as their trip to Catalunya.

“Before we play against Barcelona there are three games which are as important as El Clasico, because they are three points each. They have an equal weight,” the Blancos boss said in a press conference.

“This job is very complicated because there is criticism for coaches who do not rotate, and those that do rotate. It’s impossible.

“I have no plans to rotate in this period, as we have not played many games. The team is fresh and playing well. In every game we put out the best team possible.”

Luka Modric recently returned to training after spending over three months on the sidelines with an injury picked up while on international duty with Croatia, but Ancelotti has revealed that the midfielder is not yet fit enough to make his comeback.

However, the Italian was quick to praise the recent form of Isco, who has stepped up in his team-mate’s absence and nailed down a regular berth in the starting 11.

“Modric is not going to be available. He’s had a good week and is almost ready, but he still needs some work. We are hoping he will be able to return against Schalke [in the Champions League,” he added.

“It’s hard to say what position is best for Isco, because it has proven that he can play in them all. We have to use his talents for attack rather than for defense, but he has shown a very positive attitude. I think this is the key to his improvement.

“If Isco continues like this, his presence in the starting line-up going forward will be guaranteed.”

Los Blancos take on Villarreal on Sunday and Ancelotti added that his team will need to be on top form if they are to claim all three points.

“Villarreal is a team that has great quality. They are very well organised, play good football and did well against Barcelona. They are at a very high level. We need to be at our best against them.”

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