Mourinho: We are not in this competition to have a laugh

Real Madrid trainer Jose Mourinho has insisted that his team are not taking the Copa del Rey lightly after a much-changed side beat Alcoyano 4-1.

Karim Benzema scored twice in Valencia, while Kaka and Jose Rodriguez were also on the score-sheet for a Madrid team whose only survivors from Sunday’s Liga victory over Mallorca were Michael Essien and Raphael Varane.

“We are not in this competition to have a laugh,” the Portuguese coach told reporters.

“We like the Copa and we certainly did not want to make the history books for the wrong reasons, as has happened to Madrid in the past in this competition. We did our job and so did Alcoyano.

“They were up for the game and played with enthusiasm and they have some interesting players and it seems they have a good coach because they played as well as I thought they would.”

The 49-year-old also responded to recent criticism in the Spanish press for allegedly not using enough academy graduates.

“I look for a balance between the first team and the academy,” said the former Chelsea and Porto boss.

“Nacho is an option at left-back, but he will never play centre-back. He has a bright future as a left-back.”

Mourinho added that he wanted players “who will play for Real Madrid for the rest of their lives”.

Meanwhile, young midfielder Rodriguez was delighted at marking his Madrid debut with a goal, at the tender age of 17.

“The dream of all youth players is to play in the first team,” said the former Spain Under-17 international.

“My parents have recorded the game. The truth is, I didn’t expect it, and I’m very happy. It made me very excited that Mourinho called me.

“It was a good goal but the most important thing was the team winning.”

Alcoyano 1-4 Real Madrid: Benzema nets double as Mourinho's men collect commanding first-leg lead

Real Madrid cruised to a 4-1 win over third-tier outfit Alcoyano in the first leg of their Copa del Rey Round of 32 encounter at El Collao stadium.

Los Blancos weathered an early storm to take a two-goal advantage into the break courtesy of goals from Karim Benzema and Kaka. Jose Rodriguez added a third for the Liga champions and Benzema grabbed his second to dampen the hosts’spirits after Javi Lara had struck from a superb free kick for the hosts.

Jose Mourinho opted to rest the majority of his star players for the fixture, with Michael Essien and Raphael Varane the only survivors from last weekend’s 5-0 win over Mallorca.

This offered players such as Kaka, Benzema and Jose Callejon a chance to stake their claim for a chance in the first team, but drawing on the buzz of anticipation around the small ground, Alcoyano started brightly and seemed to catch Real Madrid by surprise.

Javi Lara looked extremely lively on the ball and with just five minutes played it took a last-ditch clearance from Nacho to stop Alcoyano from converting for an early lead.

Yet for all the hosts’ positive attacking play, it was an error at the back that enabled Los Blancos to break the deadlock with their first attack of the night.

A long ball forward was not dealt with by Javi Selvas and in his attempts to recover for his team-mate, Arkaitz headed the ball back into the danger area. There Benzema capitalised, showing his goal-scoring instinct to steal in ahead of the keeper and nod into the net.

Mourinho’s men began to settle and after Morata had a goal ruled out for offside, Madrid made it two in the 35th minute. Benzema laid the ball off to Kaka who drove a precise left-footed shot from the top of the box into the far corner.

Alcoyano began the second half in an almost identical manner to that of the first, putting the visitors under pressure and drawing free kicks. However, they were unable to make their chances count as the waves of crosses were sent back where they came from by white shirts.

With Madrid lacking urgency, the visitors were given more freedom to attack but neither Pierda nor Omar could make the most of some decent chances shortly after the hour mark.

However, Los Blancos soon showed how clinical dinishing can be decisive as Benzema poked the ball to Jose Rodriguez who then bent in a brilliantly controlled finish despite the best efforts of Alba.

There was something for the home fans to cheer late on, though, as Javi Lara got a deserved goal with an exquisitely struck free kick that beat Adan at his near post 14 minutes from time.

But Madrid were not done and they managed to take a more commanding lead as Benzema slotted home his second following a sumptuous one-two with Kaka.

Alcoyano now have a trip to the Santiago Bernabeu to look forward to on November 27, though the three-goal deficit may be too much to overturn.

Granero grateful for Mourinho's tutelage

QPR’s Esteban Granero believes the experience he picked up at Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho’s tutelage has been invaluable to him.

The former Spain Under-21 international left Los Blancos during the summer transfer window to sign a four-year deal at the west London club.

And Granero feels he has learned a lot while at the Santiago Bernabeu which will hold him in good stead in the future.

“He [Mourinho] has always wanted what’s best for me,” the 25-year-old told Marca. “He didn’t want me to leave, but he understood.

“He wished me the best, he gave me good advice and he helped with my decisions. I have good memories of him.

“He told me I was going to be happy, and I thought so too. His opinion was important.

“We exchange the odd message and I think a lot of him. He’s taught me a lot.

“He’s a great manager and he treated me well.”

The midfielder also spoke about his time with new club QPR, who currently lie bottom of the Premier League after taking three points from their opening nine games.

“I’m very happy,” said Granero. “So far, the results haven’t been the best, but they will be. It’s going to be a very good season.

“All I want is for time to pass slowly because I’m happy,” he added.

Real Madrid starlet Cheryshev receives Russia call-up

Real Madrid youngster Denis Cheryshev has received a call-up by Russia coach Fabio Capello.

The Russian has been named in the 35-man squad for the friendly with the USA on November 14.

Despite not making a single appearance for the Madrid first team, the 21-year-old has not been overlooked by the former England manager.

“I’m very happy to have made the provisional squad! I’ll just keep on working,” he wrote on Twitter.

The midfielder will be following in the footsteps of his father, Dmitry, who gained international recognition with Russia and also received his first cap against the United States.

Capello, who took over from coach Dick Advocaat after a disappointing Euro 2012, has won all four of his games so far in Russia’s World Cup qualifying campaign, and top Group F having yet to concede a goal. 

Schuster: Mourinho doesn't care about youth

Former Real Madrid boss Bernd Schuster has claimed that Jose Mourinho has turned a blind eye to youth development at the club.

The Spanish champions are currently enduring an injury crisis at left-back, but the Portuguese coach has elected to use Michael Essien as a makeshift defender, rather than Nacho, an academy graduate.

The German trainer believes that Mourinho’s recent selections show he is indifferent to bringing through youngsters amid rumours of a rift between the former Chelsea boss and Alberto Toril, the Castilla coach.

“He has done the least amount for the youth team and he won’t do any more, as he is not interested,” Schuster told ABC Punto Radio.

“He only wants to win and he is not interested in bringing a youth player into the senior team and succeeding with that. He only wants personal success, and the more titles won in the shortest time possible the better.

“If we took a list of players that I debuted then we would not finish. I do not know why they asked Toril about this. That’s where the matter started. At Madrid things are very clear.

“There is the first team and few things come after it. Mourinho’s the boss and he decides if a player comes in or doesn’t come in, and where each one plays.”

However, Schuster did go onto praise the position that Mourinho has created for himself at the Bernabeu, which sees him take complete control over all affairs.

“He is the first coach who has been able to be in charge where he has to be, not only in the team, he is the boss of all of it. He handles things as he likes.

“I think it’s good. He has had a lot of success, and he will bring that to Madrid, where they are just missing the Champions League. This year they’re going for it even more.”