Madrid, Feb 1 (IANS) Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo was full of praise for the way the side has reacted after Zinedine Zidane replaced Rafael Benitez as first team coach of the Spanish football giants.

The Portuguese striker scored a hat-trick in Sunday’s 6-0 win at home to Espanyol taking his tally of La Liga goals in the season to 16, reports Xinhua.

“The team is working very well and you can see over the past three months how the results are appearing on the pitch,” he said on Sunday.

The striker had a few words for Benitez, implying the side had not worked hard enough under the guidance of the former Liverpool and Valencia coach.

“We needed to work more, both myself and all of the side. Now we have a more positive mentality,” he said.

He also blamed the club for a pre-season which saw them travel to Australia and Asia.

“It wasn’t good, there was a lot of travelling,” he said, before highlighting that Zidane’s arrival had “brought a different idea,” to things.

Real Madrid are four points behind FC Barcelona who have played a game less and could open up a seven point lead.

“We shouldn’t think about Barcelona, we have to work because there is a long way to go. We are behind but we will see what happens at the end of the season,” concluded Ronaldo.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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