6 december 2016, Updated 16:55h

Press conference

Zidane: Ronaldo needed to work a little harder

The Madrid coach hinted that the players weren't working hard enough Benitez

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Sport EN | 30.1.2016 | 19:14h.

Zinedine Zidane has defended Cristiano Ronaldo, but conceded the Real Madrid star has had to work a little hard harder recently. 

The Portuguese forward has struggled for goals in big games this season and was unable to prevent Madrid slumping to a draw against Real Betis last weekend. 

However, Zidane says he’s not lost his ability to find the net and suggested the goals will come now he’s started working harder.

"He hasn’t lost his goal scoring capability,” the French coach said ahead of Sunday’s game with Espanyol. 

“He has not lost anything, he’s fine and he’s working well - like everyone is. He just needed to work a little bit more.”

In 27 appearances for Madrid this season, Ronaldo has still managed to score 27 goals, despite the questions over his form.

As for his forward partner, Gareth Bale, Zidane suggests he will be back training with the team next week. 

The Welshman missed last weekend’s draw with Betis after injuring his calf against Sporting Gijon and he won’t be available against Espanyol