Mourinho blames holidays for his players`s lethargic show

Madrid: Real Madrid football coach Jose Mourinho didn`t know whether to praise or criticize his players after watching their Copa del Rey fightback against Malaga on Tuesday night.

Playing in front of their fans, Real had to come from two goals down to defeat Malaga 3-2 in a game where the home side were lethargic in the first half, but reacted to a triple substitution made by Mourinho at the break.

The coach brought Karim Benzema, Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira into the match and was rewarded as Benzema and Khedria both scored, along with Gonzalo Higuain to give Madrid a slender lead ahead of return leg next week.

"I told the players at half-time that it was a shame that I couldn`t make 11 changes," Mourinho was quoted as saying in the media reports on Wendensday.

"If I could have done that, I would have done. I even thought about making changes before the break, but I don`t like doing that," he said.

Mourinho added that he thought the poor display came as a result of the two-week layoff for the Christmas holidays.

"A break is a break, there are people who go on holiday and relax and others who enjoy themselves, go and eat with their father, with their uncle, aunt and grandma...they don`t stop eating and drinking at Christmas and they return here a little bit `different`," said the Madrid coach, who was nevertheless much happier with the second half showing.

"The team wanted to clear away the rubbish of the first half in the second half. We changed our attitude and rhythm. The question is why we didn`t do it in the first half. When you play at home, the important thing is to win and the next important thing is not to concede goals," added Mourinho.