Alaves vs Real Madrid - Lopetegui remaining calm as Real look to get back on track



Posted Friday, October 05, 2018 by PA

Alaves vs Real Madrid - Lopetegui remaining calm as Real look to get back on track

Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui insists he does not fear for his future ahead of his side’s trip to Alaves on Saturday.

Lopetegui has come in for some fierce criticism in the wake of the midweek Champions League defeat at CSKA Moscow, which stretched Real’s winless run to three games.

But the former Spain boss, who took over in controversial circumstances on the eve of the World Cup, said he is only interested in plotting a victory for his side this weekend.

Alaves vs Real Madrid - Lopetegui remaining calm as Real look to get back on track
Real Madrid must bounce back from their defeat in Moscow (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

Lopetegui told a press conference: “Do I fear for my position? No. A coach only thinks about preparing his team for the next match.

“I’m not concerned about how the press treats me. All I’m worried about is how the players’ work each day. We are not analysing what people think, we are focused on tomorrow’s game.

“We know there will be spells where we have problems and we have to be able to overcome them.

“We have to look at the good points and correct things which need work. We’ve got the right mentality and absolute confidence in every competition”.

Real have also failed to score in their last three games, having preceded their defeat in Russia with a 3-0 loss at Sevilla and a goalless draw against city rivals Atletico.

And Lopetegui’s team selection has been questioned after he left both Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos out of the travelling party to Russia, and named Luka Modric as a substitute.

Lopetegui, who confirmed Bale had a “slight knock” and could return at Alaves, added: “We are working every day to improve and it’s clear that the club’s objectives are still intact as we are still fighting for all competitions.

“We see the players and we know that the team is convinced and has played very well at times. We will be judged at the end of the season.”

Alaves vs Real Madrid - Lopetegui remaining calm as Real look to get back on track
Gareth Bale, centre, is expected to return for Real Madrid (Paul White/AP)

Sixth-placed Alaves certainly look equipped to pose Lopetegui’s side another threat although their five-match unbeaten run was ended in a 2-1 defeat at Leganes last weekend.

And coach Abelardo is conscious of the size of his team’s task, telling a press conference: “They have to have a bad day and we have to have a perfect day to win.”

The former Barcelona and Spain defender insisted he would not read much into Real’s defeat in Moscow, and believes Lopetegui needs to be given more time to get his message across to his squad.

He added: “It is true Real have had three games without scoring a goal but they are still the third highest scorers in the league.

“They need a period of adaptation under Lopetegui. They are still one of the best teams in the world and we have to play really well to beat them.”

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