Modric: “It's a hard defeat to take, but there's a long way to go and we are improving”

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Luka Modric started against Shakhtar in the side's first Champions League match of the season. After the encounter, the Croat analysed the game at the Alfredo Di Stéfano stadium: “We didn't start the game well and then we improved a lot. In the first-half we weren't at the level required by the competition and in the second-half we tried to improve and we did. But it wasn't enough to turn it around and get a draw or a win. We lacked confidence, especially in the first-half”.

“We have to continue, to stay together and remain positive because the next game comes quickly and we have to improve. We haven't got time to feel sorry for ourselves”.

On what Zidane told the players at half-time
“That we have to improve and pressure higher up and better. In the first-half we tried to stay compact and in the second-half we did it.  We created chances and scored two goals, but it wasn't enough. It's a hard defeat to take, but there's a long way to go and I'm sure we're going to improve”.

Confidence
“I'm sure it's not an excess of confidence. We know they are a side with many quality players and a lot of ability. We didn't take Shakhtar lightly at all. We didn't start well, they scored the first goal, our heads went down and we lost a bit of confidence. In the second-half we raised our game. We were together and had more confidence, but it wasn't enough. In general, we're not happy about the game, but I'm sure we will improve”. "It's a good thing that the next game is coming up soon and it's el Clásico. We have to stick together and believe in ourselves and our quality. We haven't forgotten how to play football, we can put in a good performance. El Clásico is always a different game and we're sure we'll be up to it in the match".

Varane: "We'll never give up"
"The aim was to win and we didn't succeed. We gave it our all, in the second-half we were better but we didn't find the goals to turn the match around. We fought until the end. When we don't play well under the pressure, everyone suffers. We found it difficult at the back".

"The response wasn't good, but we know that we have a quality group and with our character we will move forward. We'll never give up. Everyone has to give their all to help the team and we have to stick together. That is the message".

Clásico
"It's a difficult time for the team, but we've got a very important game in three days and we're focussed on winning this weekend. We're going to rest and prepare well for this game. We're going to give everything on the pitch and fight for this shirt".