Zidane: 'Benzema knows he can give more'

Karim Benzema has scored just twice for Real Madrid all season, but he knows more is expected of him, according to coach Zinedine Zidane.

Zidane called on Benzema (right) to end his difficult run ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash with APOEL.   -  Getty Images

Zinedine Zidane is adamant Karim Benzema knows he is under-performing for Real Madrid and he hopes the striker can rediscover his cool in front of goal as soon as possible.

Benzema has endured a woeful start to the season in terms of his goal-scoring form, netting just twice in 13 matches across all competitions.

Cristiano Ronaldo has also struggled and Madrid find themselves trailing Barcelona by 10 points after 12 LaLiga games as a result of their forwards' malaise.

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Madrid travel to Cyprus for Tuesday's Champions League clash with APOEL and Zidane called on Benzema to end his difficult run by giving "more", as the reigning champions look to secure its passage to the knockout phase.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the match, Zidane said: "He [Benzema] is the first one who knows he can give more, because of the confidence issue, especially his confidence in front of goal.

"Strikers maybe need goals for confidence, but he's playing well, the team is playing well.

"When one goes in more can follow. Let's hope tomorrow [Tuesday] is the day to end the streak."

Zidane has occasionally been criticised this season for perhaps not playing some of his younger players more regularly.

Theo Hernandez, Marcos Llorente, Dani Ceballos and Borja Mayoral have been kept largely on the fringes of the first team, but Zidane is not aware of any of them having a problem with him, insisting that they are simply experiencing a learning curve.

"That [those players' happiness] is a question for the players," Zidane said. "As far as I'm concerned, I sit down and chat with players. They're here, they're young.

"They have to work hard, but look at the rise of Marco Asensio, for example. He played less last season, but more this season.

"Ceballos is in a similar position. There are maybe a few players who play less, but it's a learning curve.

"It's normal that they play less than other squad players. But Dani and the other young players all have big futures here."

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