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Monday 23 October 2017

Ancelotti looking for Real consistency

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti believes tonight's Champions League Group B opener at home to Basel will be a good chance for the holders to put a poor start to their domestic campaign behind them.

Real were beaten 2-1 by champions Atletico Madrid at the Bernabeu on Saturday, their second successive La Liga reverse, and some of the club's notoriously demanding fans made their anger clear by roundly whistling captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

The experienced Ancelotti, one of only six people to win Europe's elite club competition as both player and coach, noted on Monday that Real also stuttered at the beginning of last season before securing a record-extending 10th European title and winning the King's Cup.

"I feel like a coach who has to fix things in the team, the same as last year," he told a news conference.

"This match comes at the right time as it is a chance to show a positive reaction and demonstrate the good things in the team," added the Italian.

"Starting this competition well is very important. I believe we will be competitive and we will try to win it again."

Ancelotti's immediate task is to integrate new signings Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez in midfield, where they have replaced the departed Xabi Alonso (Bayern Munich) and Angel Di Maria (Manchester United) respectively.

Real appear to be missing the control Alonso provided in his central holding role, while Di Maria was often the player with the energy and skill to break down stubborn defences.

Ancelotti said he was happy with the squad at his disposal, assembled at a cost of hundreds of millions by Real president Florentino Perez.

"The problem is clear, it's not that complicated. We need more consistency over the 90 minutes," he said.

"We have analysed what is happening and we all agreed that we lack consistency and we are working to improve that. I have a very, very good squad, very competitive, and I think the players all think the same way.

"We can challenge in all the competitions, there is no doubt about that among the players."

REAL MADRID v BASEL

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