Real Madrid hotshot Jese happy to impress with Bale sidelined

The attacker netted again in Los Blancos’ Copa del Rey quarter-final, second-leg win over Espanyol, and says he wants to get into double figures before the season’s end

Jese Rodriguez hopes he is catching Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti’s eye after turning in another impressive performance in Gareth Bale’s absence on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old scored the only goal of the game as the Blancos defeated Espanyol in their Copa del Rey quarter-final, second-leg meeting at the Santiago Bernabeu, thereby sealing a 2-0 aggregate win that sets up a last-four meeting with either Athletic Bilbao or Atletico Madrid.

With a Liga trip to Athletic Bilbao to come on Sunday, though, Jese freely admits that is trying to make the most of his chances to shine while Bale is out of action.

“I try to take the game-time that is given to me by the boss and that’s it,” the forward told reporters, after Carlo Ancelotti confirmed the Spain international could start in place of Bale this weekend at San Mames.

“Bale is a great player. He’s a great professional and we all have confidence in him. As I say, it is for the head coach to choose if Bale plays. I have to take my opportunities.”

Jese, who has scored four goals so far this season for the capital-based club, says he has set himself a double-figure goal target before the end of the current campaign.

“I am trying to put in 10 goals this season,” he added. “I know I have to work, but I’m not expecting anything more or less.

“I’ve carefully worked in training but I know how things can go in football. At the moment, it’s going well for me, though.”

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