New Real Madrid coach had only a few hours to familiarise himself with his new surroundings before facing the press ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League encounter against Zenit St Petersburg.
Ramos was appointed on Tuesday following the departure of Bernd Schuster from the Real hot seat and the new man was keen to focus on tonight’s game.
“Winning a UEFA Champions League game is something very prestigious and I want the entire squad focused on our tie against Zenit St. Petersburg.”
The Spanish side could still finish top of Group H should they beat the UEFA Cup holders and Juventus fall at home to BATE.
“We’ll be working on the mental side of things,” Ramos explained. “The players need to know they have to remain calm and commit themselves to what they know – which is how to play football.
“A Champions League game is always important, even if you know you’ve already qualified. We want to do well, we want to try to win this competition. We need a good performance and a positive result, although we still have a lot of hard work ahead of us.”
Ramos is aware of the injury problems plaguing the squad. Ruud van Nistelrooy and Mahamadou Diarra are out for the season with knee injuries while Pepe, Miguel Torres, Gabriel Heinze, Wesley Sneijder and Rubén de la Red are also unavailable.
“Although I’ve just arrived, I know this team perfectly well,” the former Tottenham Hotspur and Sevilla coach said. “The system I will use against Zenit depends on who I have available. It seems probable that one or two of our younger players will take part.”
Meanwhile, Zenit coach Dick Advocaat focused on the fact his side will be playing their last match in the Champions League this season before joining the UEFA Cup as third-place finishers in the group.
“It’s our final game of the season and an opportunity for our players to show what they can do against a top European team,” he said. “I’m expecting an exciting game. You have to be realistic – Juventus and Madrid are experienced campaigners in this competition. In our matches against them, you could see the difference in front of goal.
“I was happy that we played good football in the tournament but unfortunately good football doesn’t always bring you points.”