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Zidane demands more from under-performing Karim Benzema

Zinedine Zidane has admitted that Karim Benzema’s poor run of form needs to end soon following the Frenchman’s slow start to the season, having scored twice in 13 matches.

Cristiano Ronaldo has also struggled to find the back of the net this campaign as well, with the pair only notching two goals between them in the league.

The Real Madrid boss now finds his team trailing league-leaders Barcelona by 11 points and needing a win against APOEL in their Champions League group H match on Tuesday night to all but seal the place in the knockout stages.

‘He [Benzema] is the first one who knows he can give more, because of the confidence issue, especially his confidence in front of goal,’ Zidane told reporters.

‘Strikers maybe need goals for confidence, but he’s playing well, the team is playing well.

‘When one goes in more can follow. Let’s hope tomorrow [Tuesday] is the day to end the streak.’

The Madrid boss has also often been criticised for not introducing enough younger talent into the squad, even when the likes of Benzema are under-performing.

Players like Marcos Llorente, Borja Mayoral and Dani Ceballos have all made a few appearances under the Madrid boss but Zidane insists that they are happy and will have to work for their place in the quad.

‘That [those players’ happiness] is a question for the players,’ Zidane said.

‘As far as I’m concerned, I sit down and chat with players. They’re here, they’re young.

‘They have to work hard, but look at the rise of Marco Asensio, for example. He played less last season, but more this season.

‘Ceballos is in a similar position. There are maybe a few players who play less, but it’s a learning curve.

‘It’s normal that they play less than other squad players. But Dani and the other young players all have big futures here.’

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