Robben hails Ramos
Arjen Robben has hailed new boss Juande Ramos as he looks forward to better times at the Bernabeu.
By Lucas Brown
Last Updated: 18/12/08 4:42pm
Real Madrid's Arjen Robben has hailed new boss Juande Ramos - but he does not want to be paired with an English team in the UEFA Champions League draw on Friday.
The Dutch international spoke candidly to Marca about his thoughts on the new coach at the Bernabeu and who Los Merengues will play next in Europe.
Ramos has lifted morale at Madrid since taking over from Bernd Schuster and Robben is delighted with how things are progressing so far.
"He is talking to everyone. For him it is important to know all the players. I think that it is great that the coach speaks to the players a lot. I like that," the former Chelsea star explained.
"It is difficult to compare the systems of (Ramos and Schuster). One talks a lot and the other did not. Every coach has their own way of doing things.
"I really like the new system, but I said that when Schuster was still in charge. I prefer to play with two wingers because that way we can apply pressure higher up the field and not let the opposition build from the back.
"There are obvious differences (between Ramos and Schuster). The training on Tuesday was the hardest that I have done since I came here, but I liked it because we had to work hard and improve many things. We need to return to be at the level we showed last year.
"Now we need to improve defensively in order to ensure that we keep more clean sheets and that everyone plays together more. This team has a lot of quality and we need to show it."
Looking ahead to the Champions League draw, which will be made in Switzerland on Friday, Robben said: "I don't want an English team, Manchester United or Liverpool. That would be not be good."
Real Madrid slipped 12 points behind league leaders Barcelona last weekend when losing 2-0 to their rivals.
Robben was unable to play in the defeat after picking up a red card for a second bookable offence in the loss to Sevilla the week before, but he is not giving up yet on the title.
"Anything can still happen, but from now on we only have to think about ourselves and improve. We cannot be concerned with what the other teams are doing," he continued.
"I feel great, but it was hard to accept that I was unable to play in the game because of an error of mine in the game against Sevilla. The referee made a mistake and felt that at the time we could win the game.
"I was very angry and I made a mistake myself. Football is passionate, but I should have reacted more calmly.
"It all looked very bad on television. I accept the blame because I was not able to help my team and I know that it was also an important match for the fans."
Robben hopes new signing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will prove a hit at the Bernabeu, but believes he will not find it easy.
"We hope that he will be very good," he said. "Huntelaar is a goalscorer. In Holland he scored many times, but this league is much better than the Dutch league."
Team-mate Rafael Van der Vaart has struggled to perform in recent weeks and Madrid have been rumoured to be considering selling him on again, but Robben thinks he will come good in the end.
"He is a good player and has a lot of quality, but in the midfield we have a lot of very good players. That means that someone has to sit on the bench," he added.
"Maybe his lack of continuity has affected his confidence. But he is working hard and he will come good in the end."