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Ancelotti hints at deeper role for Isco

Carlo Ancelotti has hinted that Isco could get a chance to impress in a deeper midfield position in Real Madrid’s La Liga trip to Malaga on Saturday.

The former Malaga playmaker has been a peripheral figure over recent months at Madrid, while Ancelotti spoke out in February about how Isco is unhappy given the current 4-3-3 shape does not particularly suit the 21-year-old’s strengths.

But the Italian coach told his pregame news conference at Friday lunchtime that Isco could be converted into a more rounded midfielder, just as had happened under his guidance with Clarence Seedorf at AC Milan.

“There is more important defensive work in this position,” Ancelotti said. “I have spoken with Isco about the comparison with Seedorf. I also spoke with Seedorf who was happy as he knows Isco is a great player.

“He can play there no problem he can help the team here. [Angel] Di Maria was also not used to the position, just a few games with his national team. But he got used to it, and has been playing very well.”

The issue is particularly important at Madrid just now as regular first-choice Di Maria is just one booking away from a ban, and spoke last week of his concern over missing out on March 23’s looming clasico against Barcelona at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu — though Ancelotti may still pick the Argentina international.

“There is no game more important than any other,” Ancelotti continued. “Tomorrow’s game is the most important at the moment. I will put out the best team possible for it.

“A player can always pick up a booking and miss a game. I have confidence in the other players in the squad. I know if Di Maria will play tomorrow, but I will not say it.”

Even though Madrid have a three point lead over Atletico Madrid and four point advantage over Barcelona, Ancelotti maintained there was still a long way to go yet in the title race.

“We have spoken about the feeling that tomorrow is a very important game,” he said. “We must prepare for it very well, against a team who have played well in their last games.

“They won at Osasuna, and will have confidence to improve. The players are in agreement that La Liga will only be won in the final game of the season.

“We must continue with the attitude and intensity and concentration we had against Levante.”