MADRID, July 16- New Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez is focussed on improving the Spanish giants’ defence during the forthcoming season, while sticking to the club’s attacking philosophy.
The former Napoli boss, who replaced the sacked Carlo Ancelotti at the Santiago Bernabeu in June, wants to build a side that can “attack as well as in recent years” but which can also “defend a little better”.
The manager’s comments — released on the club’s official website on Wednesday — touched on “achieving the balance that will allow us (Real Madrid) to win more matches, and have more opportunities to win titles.”
The ten-time European champions, who finished runners-up in La Liga last season behind rivals Barcelona, are currently training in Australia where they will face Italian side AS Roma on Saturday, July 18 before taking on 2014 English champions Manchester City the following Friday.
Both matches will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground – a 100,000-capacity stadium.
“It’s (Australia) not as hot as in other places and it allows us to really work hard, and the fact that the pitches are of good quality allows us to have the ball movement and intensity that we wanted,” said Benitez ahead of the games.
Real were left trophyless last season as their great rivals Barcelona completed a treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League crowns.
Benitez’s side have made just one major summer signing thus far — Brazilian right-back Danilo who arrived from FC Porto — but have been strongly linked with Manchester United’s Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea as a replacement for Iker Casillas who has left for Porto.