Mourinho feels Benzema 'on right track'

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho softened his stance towards Karim Benzema on Friday by declaring that the French international striker was making good progress.

"He's on the right track, he's showing a great level of motivation," said Mourinho during a press conference. "I've got much more confidence in him than two months ago. Now it's up to me to give him opportunities so that he's happy. He deserves it."

Mourinho also promised that Benzema would enjoy more playing time. The 22-year-old has started most of Real's games on the bench this season and has been chastised by Mourinho over his attitude and time-keeping.

Speaking after Real's 2-0 defeat of Ajax in the UEFA Champions League earlier this month, Mourinho said: "I hope that Karim is intelligent. I hope that he understands and that he knows what he has to do in order to play.

"From the bench you can see the match very well, and the changes in position. Today he spent 90 minutes on the bench.Karim is an intelligent boy. Sooner or later he'll understand."

Real travel to Valencia to face Levante in La Liga on Saturday before visiting Auxerre for their second Champions League group game on Tuesday.