'No margin for error'
Following a 3-0 Matchday 1 defeat at Olympique Lyonnais, Salgado knows that only victory against the Greek visitors will suffice. "This is a very important game for us - we really cannot afford to slip up again," he told uefa.com. "Our next two games are at home and winning those would take some of the pressure off. Losing against Lyon means that we now have no margin for error."
After a wobbly start to the season, wins against Athletic Club Bilbao and Deportivo Alavés SAD have calmed the Bernabéu waters. "We haven't started the season playing in the manner that we would like but it's still early days, so there's no point in getting worried," said the 29-year-old Salgado. "I think that football has gone a bit crazy, in that some people think that we can do whatever we like and in fact the reality is very different.
"Every year the competitions are getting tougher and it becomes harder to win. In our case, I would suggest that we should take things calmly, with the knowledge that we have a great team and little by little we will develop our own style of play and then after that, start winning regularly. I don't think any team reaches its maximum level until it has gone through a couple of months of intense work. Everyone needs time to adapt to the competition, all the work done during the pre-season and then all the new signings - we have several new players and naturally, they need time to settle."
But Salgado does feel that the game has moved on since Madrid were last crowned champions of Europe three years ago. He said: "I don't think the game is more defensive now. What has happened is that competitions are more competitive, meaning small details become more important. Each year it's getting harder as the preparation is more intense and so many games now are decided by factors that perhaps before, might have been insignificant. We are seeing less of those high-scoring games that we saw five or six years ago because any team now can cause you problems."
While much debate has been centred on Vanderlei Luxemburgo's 4-2-2-2 formation, Salgado stresses that the team always comes first, saying: "I don't really believe in systems. No squad can be moulded to suit a certain system, the system or formation has to be adapted to suit the squad. Madrid, like any other team, must strive to find its own style of play, based on the players it has."
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