La Liga

Ancelotti urges Bale patience

Gareth Bale's Real Madrid career has yet to ignite.
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Coach Carlo Ancelotti has called for patience as Real Madrid fans wait to see the best of Gareth Bale following his record-breaking summer move to the Bernabeu.

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Bale has yet to set the Primera Division alight following his 100million euros transfer from Tottenham and, with the Wales forward battling to return to full fitness, he is also still to complete a whole match for his new club.

He was named in the starting line-up for Saturday's El Clasico against Barcelona but made little impression and was replaced an hour into the 2-1 loss at the Nou Camp.

Ancelotti knows the 24-year-old is not yet firing on all cylinders but has pointed out that new players need to time to acclimatise to a new club and country.

"It's true that in the last few games he hasn't done extraordinary things, but a player who arrives at a new team, in a new culture, needs time to adapt," Ancelotti told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope.

"The problem the player has is of adaptation. It's not the same to play in Spain as in England."

Ancelotti also laughed off any suggestion that Bale's price tag had an influence on his decision to start him against Barca.

The Italian's first XI at the Nou Camp did not include any out-and-out centre-forward with Karim Benzema named on the bench and Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria the furthest players forward.

The move failed to reap any dividends as Madrid struggled to create much in the first half and only got on the scoresheet in the 90th minute when substitute Jese Rodriguez netted a consolation goal.

Ancelotti insisted Bale's transfer fee was not a factor in his selection, saying: "For me, Bale is a player the same as any other. I think he was a good signing for Real Madrid. Bale played because in my opinion he could play and create problems for Barcelona - only because of that.

"I didn't put in Benzema because I didn't want the opposing defenders to have a clear point of reference. Therefore, Bale started on the left and could change position with Di Maria."

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