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Serie A
By ESPN Staff

Ruud warns of more to come from champions Real

MADRID, September 22 (Primera Liga) - Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has warned there is plenty more to come from his side after the champions moved to within a point of the Primera Liga's leading pack on Sunday night.

• Guti out for two weeks

Following an indifferent first-half performance, Ruben De La Red put Madrid into the lead eight minutes after the restart at Racing Santander and Van Nistelrooy netted a second with 17 minutes remaining.

But former Holland frontman Van Nistelrooy has promised the capital outfit will only get better.

"The fact that we played well is what I'll take from this match," he said. "This is Real Madrid. We saw it with nine men against Valencia (in the Spanish Supercopa), and then two poor matches. We saw the Madrid we want.

"We know that the score isn't all that counts. We aren't leaving completely satisfied. We know we must improve and where. It is still September."

Bernd Schuster's team headed into Sunday's game under pressure following an indifferent start to the campaign, having lost at Deportivo La Coruna and then been far from convincing in a 4-3 win at home to promoted Numancia.

A 2-0 home success against Belorussian minnows BATE Barisov in the Champions League on Wednesday also failed to silence the critics, but Madrid raised their game against Racing.

"Racing played well, but we did too," Van Nistelrooy added: "We saw the Madrid we all want to see. It was a difficult match and the victory should boost our confidence. We must stay on track.

"The team was very solid in defence and took advantage of the opportunities it was given. Our strength in the first third and the team's mentality proved crucial. Our chances improve when we play like we did.

"It is true that we played two poor matches, but we are improving. We did our job, but it's time to think about Wednesday (against Sporting Gijon)."

  • Guti out for two weeks

    Real Madrid midfielder Guti is facing two weeks on the sidelines after suffering a muscle strain during Sunday's 2-0 win over Racing Santander.

    Guti, 31, was stretchered off on the stroke of half-time, and the club announced on Monday that he has strained a muscle in his right leg.

    "He is expected to be about for around 15 days," said a statement on the club's website.

    That would rule Guti out of upcoming league games against Sporting Gijon, Real Betis, and Espanyol, as well as the Champions League clash against Zenit St Petersburg.


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