MADRID Real Madrid's new coach Bernd Schuster said he was grateful to predecessor Fabio Capello for the legacy he left after leading the club to their first league title in four years.
"He achieved something very important by winning the league title last season," the former German international told a news conference after signing a three-year contract with the nine-times European champions.
"If you don't win trophies it creates a lot of tension and so the fact that the club has won the league title has taken a weight off my shoulders. It will make my job that much easier."
Schuster also credited Capello, who took charge of the club a year ago, with restoring team spirit and instilling a winning mentality into a side that had not won a major trophy since 2003.
"We all knew how hard it was to take over the team last season," he said. "In the end he achieved a lot in terms of improving team spirit. That's what helped the side win the league title and I'm going to make the most of that spirit.
"It would have been a lot harder for me if the team had not won the title. There would have been more nerves and more pressure."
Capello was sacked 11 days after steering Real to victory over arch-rivals Barcelona in the Spanish title race, with the president Ramon Calderon saying that the team's style of play under the Italian did not meet the standards demanded by the club and its fans.
Schuster said that although he had not bought himself out of his contract with his previous club Getafe until Monday he had been collaborating with Real for some time on planning next season.
"At no time has real Madrid been without a coach," he said. "We've been working together all the time."
He said he was confident that, under his guidance, the team would play a more entertaining brand of football.
"I've never seen anything difficult in football. I've got great confidence in myself and the team," said the German. "I'm convinced my idea of football will fit in with what the fans want.
"You have to play the players in their right position and give them the freedom they need. For example I prefer to play with just one defensive holding midfielder and want to give the other the liberty to help attack."