Mourinho: Benzema has class

Jose Mourinho is backing French striker Karim Benzema to make the grade at Real Madrid, insisting he is satisfied with his recent performances.

"He is playing very well at the moment," said Mourinho ahead of the Copa del Rey second-leg match with Real Murcia. The match is a crucial one for Mourinho. Madrid were held to a goalless draw in the opening leg and run the risk of being knocked out of the competition at the Bernabeu.

"He (Benzema) has a lot of class and does what we expect of him. He will start the game and we need him to score. It is a decisive match and I am waiting for a positive response from him as in the last few matches. If he works to that end he will end up in the starting line-up," said Mourinho.

Benzema has largely featured from the bench so far this season prompting the Madrid boss to suggest that the Frenchman needed to galvanise his attitude. It appears to be advice that Benzema has taken to heart with the striker grabbing a crucial assist in the recent win at Alicante and then another in the draw away to AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League.