Ancelotti prepared to play Ramos in midfield again

Carlo Ancelotti has rejected criticism of his decision to play Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos in midfield against Juventus.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is prepared to play Sergio Ramos in midfield again despite criticism over his performance against Juventus.

Defender Ramos was deployed in the unfamiliar central-midfield role in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg in Turin and was widely slammed for his display in a 2-1 defeat.

Ancelotti's men face Valencia on Saturday in La Liga, and asked if Ramos could play in the Real engine room again, he said: "I have not yet decided this.

"The situation with Sergio Ramos hasn't changed, he can play in a number of positions. He did very well against Juventus, if he needs to, I'm going to play him again in that position.

"I haven't thought about changing this depending on the criticisms. It's not about fear of criticism.

"There aren't any errors in the way we've planned the midfield, I've just taken the decision that is best for the club to win games."

Real winger Gareth Bale's performance was also widely derided, with a reported statistic indicating that he had touched the ball less than goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

But Ancelotti said: "We haven't seen the statistic. I don't think the stat tells me much about the game. Bale played a good game, I don't need to speak to Gareth Bale about this.

"Gareth Bale will continue to play well for Real Madrid. This is team is fighting to win to the league, for the final of the Champions League. I thank them [the players] for their efforts, if one game hasn't gone well, that's that."