Zinedine Zidane has expressed his delight at seeing three of Real Madrid's key players make their injury comebacks in the 2-2 Copa del Rey draw with Fuenlabrada.
Gareth Bale, Keylor Navas and Mateo Kovacic all returned from various lay-offs to feature at Santiago Bernabeu against the Spanish minnows and the trio helped Los Blancos progress to the next round of the domestic cup competition.
Speaking to FourFourTwo after Bale completed an hour's work - and full 90 minute run outs for Navas and Kovacic - Zidane explained why it was imperative that all three players got timely run outs on the pitch ahead of a packed December fixture schedule.
He said: "I'm so happy for Gareth, Keylor and Mateo because they've been out for a while. They're key players and seeing that they're ready for these next games makes me happy.
"I thought that Keylor did well and he's pleased with things. I don't think that he could have done any better on the first goal."
Borja Mayoral bagged a brace to overturn Luis Milla's 25th-minute opener, but a late equaliser from Alvaro Portilla condemned Real to a less than impressive draw on home turf.
5 - Gareth Bale now leads the assists charts for Real Madrid this season despite playing around 700 minutes less than his teammates.— Andrew Gaffney (@GaffneyVLC) November 28, 2017
Zidane, however, chose not to berate his players for throwing away the lead against the Segunda Division B side on Tuesday evening, and revealed that he had planned for his team to just do enough to book their place in the next round.
He added (via FourFourTwo): "I'm not upset at all, it was foreseen. It's not easy for the players, there were homegrown players.
"I'm happy to advance in the tie, the opponent played a very good game. The important thing is the tie and we passed.
"People can say what they want, but they also saw their players fight until the end. There were players who had not played together. The opponent does not have a level of Segunda B. Fuenlabrada are a good team.
"I'm looking at my players, those who were on the field, in the second half we did it well, I'm happy."