'Let's count on Gareth' - Zidane backs Bale


Real Madrid extended their lead at the top of the La Liga table to six points after a 4-1 win at Osasuna on Sunday.

Goals from Isco and Sergio Ramos turned the game on its head before the interval, with late strikes from Lucas Vazquez and Luka Jovic making the game safe.

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But Zidane will be relieved to see his team swiftly back on track with a performance full of the kind of resilience that Madrid's rivals have so lacked in recent weeks. He hasn't played the last three games and he played 70 good minutes defensively.

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Zidane said Bale performed well against Osasuna, adding that the 30-year-old is an important player for Real Madrid. I'm happy for his goal.

"He was a bit short physically at the end, so he has left the field. We know the player he is and he'll give us a lot until the end of the season".

Jovic is another player who has not always found favour with his boss and the former Eintracht Frankfurt striker's fabulous left-footed finish marked only a second La Liga goal, and his first since October.

"I'd like him to score, but he'll get there if he keeps working", he said recently.

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"He has to improve but I'm happy for his goal, he's going to come good".

He is expected to return for Madrid's La Liga game with Celta Vigo at the Bernabeu next weekend, with a view to being fully fit for their Champions League game with Manchester City later this month. "He'll need this week, it will be a long one".

"We'll see this week; we hope to see him next week".

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