Gareth Bale says he was disappointed to see Rafael Benitez sacked but is happy at Real Madrid and enjoying his football.
Bale scored a hat-trick against Deportivo de La Coruna on Saturday – his second in four games – as Zinedine Zidane began his reign at the Bernabeu with a 5-0 victory.
Bale, who has now claimed 12 goals and seven assists in La Liga this season, had a good relationship with Benitez and was sad to see the former Liverpool boss sacked, but he has stressed his happiness at Real amid continued links to Manchester United.
“I had a very good relationship with Rafa,” said Bale. “Obviously, it was a big disappointment to see him go but things like this happen in football: you’re professional and you get on with it, and carry on.
“I’m happy at the moment. Obviously, you can never predict what happens in the future but I’m enjoying my football at the moment, so I’ll keep going.
“No matter what, I’ll always give 100% on a football pitch and that’s what I did (against Deportivo).
“I just want to keep playing my football. I don’t feel I need to make a statement to anyone. I know what I’m capable of and I just want to keep enjoying my football, and when I do that I play my best football.”
Zidane, meanwhile, has assured Bale that he will remain equally important to the team as he was under Benitez.
Zidane said: “I understand that he can be annoyed with the departure of Benítez because he was an important coach for him, but he is going to have the same affection [from me] as with Rafa.
“He is important for the squad, fundamental for the team. He is phenomenal and what he has been doing recently is fantastic. I’m going to give him all my affection and support so that he plays well.”