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Oct 16, 2012

Mourinho: Modric needs time

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho believes recent signing Luka Modric should be given time to settle at his new club as he learns the team's style of play.

• Blog: Is Falcao close to joining Real?

Modric, 27, who was an unused substitute for the 2-2 El Clasico draw at Barcelona last week, has yet to complete a full 90 minutes for Real since joining from Tottenham for a reported £29 million in August.

Despite the Croatia international's limited game time so far, the Special One says that the player will eventually feature more heavily but will first be eased slowly into the team to gain more experience alongside his new team-mates.

"People should be calm, especially with Luka," Mourinho said. "We know he is a great player, but let him grow within the team. People wanted him to play against Barcelona.

"He needs to enhance his tactical play and learn what he is expected to do inside the team, and how to position himself among his mates, what to do when Benzema presses one of their midfielders and what to do when Cristiano is free...

"There are many things he has to learn to do as a team member, which some people ignore and some others know but pretend they do not. Let the kid alone, let him grow within the team little by little. He is a terrific player. I believe that the Bernabeu fans have already had a taste of what a great player he is, but now leave him alone."

Madrid's other summer raid on the Premier League was a loan move for midfielder Michael Essien from Chelsea.

And Mourinho believes the Ghana international will need less time to adapt than Modric as he knows the coach's methods from their time together at Chelsea.

"Michael is different," he said. "He has been my player for three years. He knows practically all about football and his coach. His position on the field is more stable, so it is easier for Michael to come into the team."

Mourinho feels that Madrid's season is now back on track after a shaky start, with the 3-2 Champions League win over Manchester City proving to be a key turning point.

"For different reasons, some beyond our control, others our own fault, we did not start well," he said. "From the mental standpoint the match against City was the 'click' the team needed to feel that if you want, you can, and that when you want something dearly, quality always finds a way and overcomes anything.

"Then came the victory over Rayo, a relaxed victory at home (5-1 over Deportivo la Coruna) and a good match against Barcelona. I believe the team is now going in the direction we want."

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