Gareth Bale will get all my support - Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane
New Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane says he aims to have a good relationship with all his players, including Gareth Bale, who is reported to be unhappy with Rafa Benitez's dismissal.
Madrid president Florentino Perez appointed Zidane, who had been coaching the club's Castilla B team, amid reported concerns over Benitez's relationship with some of the club's key stars.
Benitez was said to have a difficult relationship with players including club captain Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo, but The Times reported that Bale is "intensely disappointed" by the coach's exit and is now considering his future.
Zidane, who took charge of a public training session on Tuesday morning in front of 6,000 Madrid fans, said his speech to his new squad had been simple, and he was planning on building and maintaining close relationships with each and every one of them.
"A coach must be close to his players -- that is the most important, a good relationship with them all," Zidane -- who has set his sights on Champions League glory this season -- told reporters.
"I told the players I was very happy to be with them, and a new adventure was starting. Day-to-day work with players will be fundamental. All the squad will be important. I want the players to enjoy themselves on the pitch, as they did for sure with Rafa Benitez."
Bale, who has been linked with Manchester United, was the only Madrid player not to take part in the session due to an injury he picked up in Sunday evening's 2-2 draw at Valencia.
Asked about the Wales international's current mood, Zidane said: "I understand that Gareth might be upset with Rafa Benitez's departure as he was an important coach for him, but he will get the same affection from me as from Rafa.
"He is a fundamental player for the team, playing really well lately. I cannot say anything other than that -- he will get all my support to play well."
Asked if he would stick with the "BBC" strikeforce of Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, which predecessors Benitez and Ancelotti had struggled to make work in a balanced team, Zidane said that was his plan.
"Yes, I will play with the three attackers," he said. "That is the idea. Of course."
The former Bordeaux, Juventus and Madrid player, who has had various roles at the Bernabeu since retiring in 2006, said he planned on being his own man as a head coach.
"I have been with [Jose] Mourinho, Ancelotti, also had many coaches as a player," he said. "I always picked things up from each one, but now I must be the coach I want to be. Each of them told me that you must do what you think is best for your players and your team.
"You cannot copy another coach. You must know what exists, but do it Zidane's way."
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As a result of their Copa del Rey elimination for fielding an ineligible player at Cadiz, Madrid have no midweek fixture, so Zidane's first game as coach will be at home to Deportivo La Coruna at the Bernabeu on Saturday afternoon.
Zidane said he had not had time yet to formalise the details of his role as senior team coach, but he had no plans to bring in any new assistants to help him is the new position.
"I have two-and-a-half years [on my contract]," he said. "But we have not yet talked about the details. "This has happened quickly. It was not foreseen. The decision was taken on Monday, I was offered the job and I took it. Those who have been working with me at Castilla will come with me now, three or four people, nobody else. We are not looking for an assistant."
Unlike at his presentation on Monday evening, there were words of acknowledgement for the outgoing Benitez, who according to some reports in Spain was not personally informed by Perez or any other senior club figure of his sacking.
"You must have respect and think the work Rafa Benitez did was very good," Zidane said. "I wish him luck whatever he does now."