Carlo Ancelotti says whistling supporters may help motivate Karim Benzema, while suggesting the fit-again Raphael Varane will not immediately oust Pepe at centre-half.
Benzema was whistled by some fans inside the Bernabeu after an error-strewn outing in Sunday’s 4-1 La Liga win over Getafe, which included a glaring headed miss when an open goal was at his mercy.
The France international was then applauded by other supporters after Madrid full-back Alvaro Arbeloa had asked the crowd to get off his team-mate’s back.
Ancelotti said such treatment from demanding supporters could be a positive, but insisted that he was actually happy with his No. 9 performances so far this season.
“His games have been good,” the Italian boss said. “I like his work, besides his goals. It is not a problem that the fans whistle him. Sometimes it is good, as it motivates.”
Benzema’s international team-mate Varane returns to a Madrid travelling squad for this Wednesday’s La Liga clash with Elche for the first time since undergoing knee surgery in May.
The 20-year-old suffered a setback in his recovery after initially being expected to be fit in time for pre-season training, but he is now ready to feature again.
Ancelotti said Varane, who ousted Pepe from the first-team last term, would now have chances to impress but there was tough competition for places at the back for Madrid.
“Varane is a great talent, we are very lucky to have this player who is the future of Real Madrid,” he said. “It is difficult to say who are first choices, when you have Pepe, [Sergio] Ramos and Nacho all playing very well. We need to manage the situation well so that everyone is motivated. Varane will play games, that is for sure, but I cannot say who is first choice.”