Lopetegui Pleased With Real Madrid's Preseason Progress

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Julen Lopetegui says Real Madrid are on track for the new LaLiga season with his competitive bow against Atletico Madrid approaching fast.

Madrid continue their pre-season preparations against Juventus in the International Champions Cup on Saturday, before facing Roma in the same competition three days later.

Lopetegui has been without many of Madrid's World Cup stars during pre-season with the UEFA Super Cup clash against city rivals Atleti set to be played on August 15 in Tallinn.

 

But the Madrid coach was able to bed in at his new club early after his shock sacking by Spain on the eve of the World Cup and is happy with the progress being made by his squad.

"It's been positive," Lopetegui told the Madrid website. "We're working very hard as is normal at this time of year, with real intensity and the resulting fatigue.

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"We're hitting our goals both physically and tactically, assimilating new concepts and reinforcing elements of our collective game and tactical aspects which we are addressing every day.

"The main aim of pre-season is to get ready for the competitive games and go into those in the best possible fashion on group and individual levels. Players are coming back at different stages and we're trying to make sure they are all preparing in the same way."

Madrid went down 2-1 against Premier League side Manchester United in their first ICC game, the maiden match Lopetegui oversaw after succeeding Zinedine Zidane.

"We were pleased the team showed good character despite the different preparation levels," Lopetegui added. "They'd played five games and it was our first.

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"Particularly in the second half, the team showed quality and real personality. We played a good match in general terms and attempted to translate all we've been working on to the pitch."

Madrid have appointed Albert Celades as Lopetegui's assistant, the pair having worked together during their time in charge of Spain.

"He's a great addition," said Lopetegui. "We're all obviously very pleased.

"He'll really be able to help us in all our preparatory work and everything we're doing both on and off the pitch.

"We're delighted to have him as part of our coaching staff."