ZIDANE ‘HAS NOTHING AGAINST JAMES’

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane says he has nothing against James Rodriguez despite the attacking midfielder punching the dugout after being substituted against Leganes.

The Colombia international had produced a fine display, scoring the opener, assisting Alvaro Morata’s hat-trick goal and creating a total of four chances for his team-mates.

But despite Marcelo attempting to calm him down, James’ let his anger be known when Zidane opted to replace him, walking straight past the head coach before punching the dugout after sitting down.

The substitution meant James has still only completed the full 90 minutes in two league matches this season and Zidane insisted he understands his player’s frustration.

“I have not spoken with him – it is normal that a player wants to play the full 90 minutes,” Zidane said at his post-match media conference.

“These are things that happen and that is it. I don’t have anything against James, quite the opposite.

“It is true that he isn’t on the pitch as much, but he is offensive and works hard.

“It happens with Karim [Benzema] too. I am happy with him and it is normal that he is annoyed to be substituted.

“He played well and I am pleased with that. I do things for the good of the team, I understand his annoyance but he is going to keep being important.”

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