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Real Madrid Must Be Careful With Hazard – Zidane

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Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has said he will not rush Eden Hazard into action despite the club’s top summer signing being ready to play.

Hazard, who joined Madrid from Chelsea in June for a fee that could reach £130 million, has been sidelined since Aug. 16 with a thigh injury and has yet to make his competitive debut.

“Regarding Hazard, we have to go little by little,” Zidane said in Friday’s news conference.

“He has been injured for three weeks. He was back training this week. We have to go carefully with him. We know what the situation is, he is ready and that’s the most important thing. I will give him minutes here and there, not trying to push him too much to get the best out of him. We have seven games in 21 days and we need to use our heads with Hazard.”

Madrid host Levante on Saturday before opening their Champions League campaign at Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

Zidane said he will continue to rely on Gareth Bale, who has enjoyed a strong start to the campaign.

Bale was involved in a tense stand-off with Zidane during preseason, with the coach saying he was keen for Bale to leave.

“I’ve always said he has amazing quality,” Zidane said. “He is a great player. We all know what happened this summer. “I’m happy, he is happy. The fans too, we have to move forward. For me all the players are the best that we have and Gareth is one of them”

Asked about Bale’s comments in which he said he felt he was made a scapegoat for Madrid’s poor 2018-19 campaign, Zidane said: “We are all in the same boat, we are all guilty if things go wrong. We want to change things. It’s up to us. Comments and criticisms from outside will never change. We need to win more games.”

Madrid have taken five points in their opening three games and are fifth in the table.

“We know the situation already,” Zidane said. “We’ve lost points but this has just begun. We know all the games are important. We know the importance of getting points to move up the table.”

Injuries have been a problem for Madrid with Luka Modric the 10th player to be ruled out since the start of the season.

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